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Quick and Easy One Pot Chicken and Rice

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!

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Posted by on June 12, 2013 in Cookbooks, Cooking, Dinner, One Pot Meals, Poultry, Rice

 

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Who Wants Chicken and Rice?

Well that’s what I decided to make tonight for dinner. I have a pack of chicken thighs to use and I am going for a version of arroz con pollo that  I got from Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything.” It’s a very straightforward recipe, cooks all in one pot, and promises to taste delicious. Add a little vegetable or a salad, and you are all set for dinner tonight.

Arroz Con Pollo

3 cups chicken stock

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, sliced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups white rice

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 chopped bell pepper (your choice of color)

1 tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped

Pinch of ground allspice

1 bay leaf

Pinch of saffron threads (optional)

1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 8 pieces, or any combination of parts (I am using just thighs, since that is what I have)

1 cup frozen peas

 Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Warm the stock while you cook the onions. put the olive oil in a large skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and become translucent, 5 to 10 minutes.

Add the rice to the onions and stir until its coated with oil, a minute or two; add garlic, pepper, tomato, allspice, bay leaf and sprinkle with the saffron, if using, and stir again. Nestle the chicken pieces in the rice, add a little more salt and pepper, and pour in the warmed stock. Bring the mixture to a boil; adjust the heat so that the mixture bubbles gently but steadily. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, then add the peas. Cook for another 10 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and the chicken is cooked through; the chicken is done when an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 155-165 degrees. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Just a couple of quick notes on this recipe. I am using the saffron because I have some on hand. it’s not something most people have around, and it’s super expensive as far as spices go. If you just want the yellow coloring that saffron will give to the dish, you can use turmeric instead, which is much cheaper and will give you the color you want. Secondly, I am using homemade stock (I always do if I have it) but you could also just use water here if you don’t have any stock to use. The stock works with the chicken to give a really nice flavor to the dish that you might miss out on if you just use water. Finally, all the extras, like the garlic, pepper, tomato and the seasonings aren’t essential to the dish You can just make a stripped down version and use the onion, chicken and rice and it would be great. You can’t go wrong with this one either way.

That’s today’s meal. Tomorrow is Friday and we haven’t done a pizza Friday in a while, so I think we’ll do that and then I’ll go shopping this weekend for next week’s meals. I know Sean wants to do a breakfast for dinner this weekend, so we’ll be doing that one day, and probably a roasted chicken recipe as well since I could stand to make some more stock. The rest of the week I am not too sure about yet. Any suggestions? I’d be happy to try something out. Let me know! Until then, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Poultry

 

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