Tuesday, July 12, 2011

An Easy, One Pot Dinner - Chicken and Rice

Sometimes when I walk into my kitchen and see that I've actually kept it clean for a day or two I am reluctant to dive into a big cooking session for the sheer fact of not wanting to create work for myself.  On these occasions, I go for a One Pot dinner.  Last night it was Chicken and Rice.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium shallot
1/2 fennel bulb
1 cup of brown rice
3 cups chicken stock
1 chicken breast (boned, skinned, and chopped into small cubes)
Salt and Pepper
Butter (optional)

Start by sautéeing over Meduim High heat a chopped shallot and some fennel in a sauce pan.  Let it cook while you're measuring out the rice then add it to the pan to sautée along with the veggies.  Add a pinch of salt and stir frequently for about five minutes.  The rice will toast and pop and get really nutty.  Yum!!  Then add the chicken stock and chopped chicken breast.  When it comes to a boil, cover it up and lower the heat to medium.  Set your timer for 20 minutes then clean your house, bathe the kid, finally change out of your work clothes... or stand and watch it.  How you spend this time is totally up to you.

After twenty minutes or so, take the lid off of the pot.  There will still be a fair amount of liquid.  That's ok.  Give it a good stir, taste it to check for seasoning and texture, add salt and pepper of needed or a dollop of butter to make it a little rich... and serve.

Oh yeah!!  I had some leftover zucchini.  I stirred that in at the last minute.

Mom's Tip
This is an extremely versatile dish. 
- You can use any veggies; if they're raw, sautée them like I did the shallot and fennel.  If they're cooked, add them at the end like I did the zucchini.
- You can sub out water or beef or veggie stock for the cooking liquid.
- Chicken isn't the only protein you can cook in the rice.  Add thinly sliced beef or sausage, or don't add meat at all.
- Give it a zing!  A squeeze of lemon at the end will add a nice lite note, deglaze the pot with wine before adding the cooking liquid,  garnish it with hot sauce.

Also, for this recipe I used one one of my standby Trader Joe's buys, Brown Rice Medley.  I like its texture and flavor, and so does Lorelei, major plus. 




Holly said...

Question... looks like you just have a tablespoon of olive oil in the pan before you throw in the cup of rice. Yes? So you cook the rice just with that small amount of liquid before adding the stock?

Sounds yummy overall - I'm gonna try it!

The Food-Minded Mama said...

Holly ,

I say a tablespoon but I may have used a bit more... but mot by much. When sautéeing veggies I never use too much oil. They'll sweat and not take up too much of the fat so there will be plenty for the rice to heat up and get nicely toasted.

I hope you enjoy it!!

The Food-Minded Mama said...

I'll retype that soon when I've only had two, not three glasses of wine. ;-
)... but I hope you get my drift.