On December 1, 1955, during a typical evening rush hour in Montgomery, Alabama, a small, unassuming woman took a seat on a city bus. She was black, and as the law dictated, she walked toward the back of the bus, finding a seat in the 11th row. She could not sit in the first 10 rows. Those were reserved for white riders only.
Before reaching her final destination, she was asked to give up her seat for white passengers and move further back in the bus. The 10 rows deemed “Whites Only” were full and the driver felt he had the authority to extend the white section as needed. While the others seated in the row with her moved, she quietly refused. The woman felt she was well within her rights to remain seated since she was in the black section of the bus. If a white person needed a seat in the black section, there were other empty seats available. The drive disagree and Rosa Parks was promptly arrested.
She was not the first person of color to be prosecuted for violating the segregation laws on a city bus in Montgomery. But she was just the right person needed to challenge and eventually strike down the law. Rosa Parks was a woman of unquestionable character. Her quiet defiance led to the peaceful boycott of black riders on city buses for 381 days. The protest drew the attention not only of local officials, but the entire world. Eventually segregation laws in American were deemed unconstitutional. And rightful so.
As we remember and honor Rosa Parks today, I cannot help but to wonder what she might think of the world today. Universities holding graduation ceremonies grouped by race. Dorms for whites, others for blacks, often at the request of people of color. Personally, I don’t care who instigates segregation, it’s wrong. It’s raciest and openly discriminatory. Two wrongs do not make a right. Wrong is wrong. But what do I know? And that’s my political rant for the day.
Last year, Rosa Parks Day fell on a Tuesday. Tuesdays are Tijuana Tuesday in our house, so I shared a south of the border supper. Not just any Mexican recipe, but Beefy Spanish Rice Enchilada Burritos. Today might not be Tuesday, but a Mexican dish with spicy rice sure sounds good. Maybe it’s a December 1 thing that inspires me. Who know – all I know is this is delicious. Enjoy!
Spicy Skillet Chicken over Mexican Rice
2 cups Water
1 box Farmhouse Mexican Rice
1 tablespoons Butter
Pinch Kosher Salt
Fill saucepan with water. Add seasoning mix from rice, whisk to blend. Add rice, butter, Kosher salt. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Set aside until ready to serve.
Black Bean Mixture
1 (15 oz) can Black Beans, drained
1 (11 oz) can Corn
1 (4 oz) can Hatch Green Chilies
Drain black beans, set aside. Drain corn, set aside. In a bowl, empty hatch chilies. Add black beans and corn. stir to blend. Set aside until ready to use.
1-1/2 teaspoons New Mexican Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
4 boneless Chicken Breasts (about 1 1/4 lb)
1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
6 Flour Tortillas, warmed
In small bowl, mix chili powder, salt and pepper; sprinkle evenly over both sides of chicken breasts.
In 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken; cook 12 to 15 minutes, turning once, until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut.
Stir in black bean mixture. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer 5 minutes longer or until heated through. Keep warm until ready to serve.
While the chicken breasts cook, warm tortillas. Keep warm until ready to serve.
To serve; spread rice out on a serving platter. Place a chicken breasts over the rice. Spoon some of the bean mixture over the chicken. Serve with warm tortillas.