Friday, October 4, 2013

Weeknight Chicken & Rice

Chicken and rice, this is one of those meals that has the potential to be delicious but often turns out bland. My best tip for tasty chicken and rice is to taste test every element. After you cook the rice taste it. Does it need more spice? Are the veggies properly seasoned or could they use a bit more hot sauce? How about the chicken?

This recipe can feed a crowd or leave you enough leftovers for lunch the next day (or two) depending on the size of your family. I whipped it up this week for a sweet family in our church who recently welcomed a new baby. They requested a dairy free meal, and I knew this would fit the bill. If you need to make it in a hurry chop all the veggies the night before, and it will only take you 30 minutes tops to put together. I used leftover chicken from a roast chicken I made earlier in the week, and that also cut down on prep time considerably.

Weeknight Chicken and Rice
adapted from The Taste of Home Cookbook

Feeds 6 adults

4 cups chicken broth
2- 1/2 cups brown rice
1/2 red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
2 bell peppers of any color
2 green onions, sliced
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 or 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 cup frozen green peas
1 pound chicken breasts or chicken thighs
juice from 1/2 a lemon
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1. In a large saucepan bring chicken broth, brown rice, red onion, 1 clove minced garlic, spices, bay leaf, and salt & pepper to a boil. Put a lid on the saucepan and turn the temperature down to low. Let it simmer until most of the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked.

2. Warm the coconut oil over medium heat and throw in the peppers, green onions, parsley, basil, thyme, hot sauce, mushrooms, and the rest of the garlic. Add the tomato and green peas at the last minute then turn off the heat. Mix the rice in with the veggies.

3. Bake your chicken in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or in a skillet on your stove top until its juices run clear. Squeeze the lemon juice on your chicken and season it with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the rice and veggies, mix in your toasted almonds and enjoy.