Chicken and Rice - Quick, Easy, One Pan
Easy Chicken Recipes
My Grandmother was an incredible cook who could fill the dinner table with good things to eat even in hard times during the depression. She knew how to take ordinary ingredients and turn them into a nutritious low-cost meal. When we lived at her house in the late fifties, she cooked a lot of different economical meals but my favorite was always her mouth-watering chicken and rice. This dish can be made in about twenty minutes using only one pan. It satisfies like only comfort food can. At my house, we serve this for dinner often.
This simple dish is easy, quick and inexpensive and can be turned into a number of different meals by adding a few basic ingredients. I like to stir in chopped broccoli, a can of mushroom soup and a dash of milk and spices, then, pour it into a casserole dish to bake. Top the mixture with shredded cheese, some crumbled up Ritz crackers with bits of butter on top and it becomes a hearty dinner, warm and fragrant out of the oven. At social gatherings and church dinners, this dish has always been a favorite.
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Cooking Directions - Pan Fried Chicken
For economy, I usually purchase the store brand of frozen skinless boneless chicken breasts. Each chicken breast is individually frozen making it easy to cook just the amount needed at the moment. If the pieces should get stuck together, just bang the package on a sturdy surface and the pieces will separate.
Ready to Season
I like to rinse off the ice coating from the frozen chicken, although, experts question the practice of rinsing meat before it is cooked. Place each breast on a paper towel to drain. Season with your favorite spices like seasoned salt, black pepper, paprika and garlic powder. To add some heat, sprinkle a few crushed peppers on top.
Season One Side
Heat about one to two tablespoons of olive oil in a stick free skillet. Place the chicken in the heated pan, seasoned side down. Season the other side of the chicken once it's in the pan.
Now is a good time to put the rice on to cook.
Heat one tablespoon of Olive Oil in a non-stick skillet. Add the frozen chicken pieces and cook over medium heat.
Cook slowly over medium heat, not high, to allow the chicken to thaw as it browns. After five minutes, turn each piece over and continue turning every five minutes until thoroughly cooked.
Allowing the chicken to rest after cooking and before slicing keeps the juices in the meat.
Directions for the Rice
You'll need 2 cups of water for each cup of dry rice. To increase the recipe for 2 cups of dry rice, add 4 cups of water to a medium sized saucepan.
- Pour the water into a saucepan with a tight fitting lid.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Pour the rice into the pan and stir gently.
- Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Set a timer for 20 minutes.
Chicken and Rice - The One Pan Method
The chicken remains moist cooking it in the liquid of the rice and the results can be used in casseroles or for stir fried rice.
- To make the chicken and rice in one pan, carefully add two frozen chicken breasts to the boiling water using tongs
- Pour the dry rice over the chicken and and stir gently.
- Cover the saucepan with a tight fitting lid.
- Return the liquid to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer.
- Set a timer for twenty minutes.
Tip: Use a larger saucepan to prevent any boil overs during the cooking process.
How to Know When The Rice is Done
When the timer goes off, lift the lid and listen to the pan. If the rice is fully cooked you'll hear a quiet sort of crackling that indicates the water is gone.
Remove the pan from the hot burner and let it sit for a few minutes to cool off.
Using your tongs, take the chicken from the top of the rice and place it on a cutting surface. Allow a moment for the chicken to rest then begin slicing the chicken on an angle cutting it into small pieces.
Storing Cooked Chicken and Rice
Spoon a layer of the cooled rice into an airtight plastic container. Place about half of the chopped chicken over the rice. Add another layer of rice, then the remaining chicken. Cover the chicken and rice and refrigerate immediately.
A thin mixture of chicken bouillon made from Wyler's granules gives this bland dish a bit more flavor. Use one teaspoon (1 tsp.) of granules with one cup of warm water heated in the microwave. Add a small amount of prepared liquid over each serving. This bouillon mixture can be saved for the next use.
For those who require bland diets, chicken and rice fits the bill just by eliminating the spices. After our puppy had abdominal surgery, it was what the veterinarian recommended he eat during his recovery.
To Make Stir Fried Rice
Turn the refrigerated mixture of cold chicken and rice into a hot non-stick frying pan coated with a couple of tablespoons of vegetable or peanut oil.
- Add your favorite ingredients like bean sprouts or a handful of frozen peas and carrots, celery or other fresh veggies
- When the mixture starts to brown, make a hole in the center and pour a scrambled egg into the space.
- Stir until all ingredients are slightly browned and the egg is cooked, then sprinkle generously with soy sauce and serve.
Chicken and Rice Casserole
The prepared chicken and rice will keep in the refrigerator for about 3 days. It can be used as a base for a chicken-rice-broccoli casserole dish.
- add a pkg frozen chopped broccoli (thaw in the fridge overnight or defrost in microwave)
- a can of cream of mushroom soup or celery soup
- a quarter cup of milk or chicken broth
- season lightly with salt, pepper, garlic powder
- mix the ingredients together in a bowl then pour into an oven proof casserole dish
- sprinkle the top with 1/2 cup shredded cheese (optional)
- Crumble Ritz crackers over the top and dot with butter or margarine
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes until hot.
When the top crust is nicely browned and the casserole is bubbling, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes.
Add a fresh salad and some fruit to turn this into a hearty meal ready to eat in under 45 minutes.
When your family asks "What's for dinner?" make it chicken and rice. It's fast, easy and delicious.
© 2010 Peg Cole
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