As the weather starts to warm up and we move closer and closer to summertime, not only will more people be grilling and cooking out, but you also want to make meals that are quick and easy to cook and can all be done in one pot or pan. I’ve made chicken and rice before in different ways but I came across this recipe in the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook and saw how easy it was and thought it would make a great weeknight meal. Dinner for anyone during the week can get a little hectic, so if you have a recipe like this in your arsenal that you can pull out any time you have some chicken, it can make things a lot easier. While this particular recipe uses a whole chicken, I actually substituted since I only had chicken thighs on hand and used them exclusively.
Chicken and Rice With Tomatoes, White Wine, and Parsley
1 (3 1/2 to 4-pound) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces (4 breast pieces, 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs)
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
2 cups water
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained with 1/2 cup of juice reserved
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season well with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Place the chicken skin side down in the pot and cook until it is well browned, about 6 to 8 minutes, reducing the heat if the pan begins to scorch. Flip the chicken skin side up and continue to cook until lightly browned on the second side, about 3 minutes; transfer to a plate.
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pot, add the onion, and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until it is well coated and glistening, about 1 minute. Stir in the water, tomatoes with the reserved juice, white wine, and 1 teaspoon of salt, scraping up any browned bits. Nestle the chicken thighs and legs into the pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Nestle the chicken breast pieces into the pot and stir the ingredients gently until the rice is thoroughly mixed; cover and simmer until both the rice and the chicken are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes longer. Stir in the parsley, cover, and allow the dish to sit for 5 minutes.
One of the things you want to be sure of is that you stir the rice as the dish goes along. When you cook a meal of this nature, some of the rice tends to get undercooked if you just leave it alone without mixing it up as you go along.The recipe actually puts the breasts in after the other chicken has started cooking so they do not dry out and get overcooked while the dark meat pieces cook.There are many different variations you can try on this – if you want to change it around every time you make it. You could certainly add different spices such as paprika, cilantro, saffron, cumin or even things such as bell peppers, peas, chili peppers, olives, anchovies or some lemon or lime juice. The combinations seem nearly endless depending on what exactly you want to go for. As I said before, you can use whatever pieces of chicken you happen to have on hand if you do not have a whole chicken. The meal only took about a half an hour to cook and clean up was a breeze since everything was done all in one pot.
That’s all I have for today. Check back again later on in the week as I’ll have some of the recipes of things I have cooked recently or things I am planning for later on in the week. I already made some chicken sandwiches, Alton Brown’s potato salad recipe and some braised pork chops with cherries, among other things. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!