This recipe is no earth shaker; but it’s … nice.
Remember that chicken and rice casserole that everyone gets snobbish about because it contains (horrors!) a can of Campbell’s Cream of…. soup? Yes, that one.
It can morph into something a bit more sophisticated and healthy. I’ve tinkered around with the original back-of-the-soup-can recipe and the men in our family love it.
It was tempting to make a cream of” soup replacement. However, these type of recipes typically call for butter, flour and cream in the mix – not the greatest for keeping calories reasonable. Instead, I use unsalted chicken stock with just a smidge of butter to add a tiny bit of richness. I also use some carrots, peas and tomato to add some fiber and color and dried herbs to add depth of flavor.
It’s easy to tailor this Nice Chicken and Rice to specific carb and protein requirements; the cooked rice can easily be measured out to go along with the protein. Any leftover rice is good warmed up the next day
Nice Chicken and Rice
1 1/2 lbs. thick skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into thirds
3 cups good quality chicken stock (not broth; stock is more flavorful)
1 1/2 cups raw brown rice
Fresh ground pepper (be generous)
Dried thyme and/or rosemary (be generous)
fresh parsley, minced (optional)
about 1/2 to 1 cup diced carrots, microwaved for one minute
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil (garlic-flavored oil if available)
Garnish: frozen peas and/or cherry tomatoes, halved
- Mix broth, butter, rice and seasonings in a 9×13″ glass casserole dish; microwave for 10 minutes. While rice-broth mixture is being microwaved, spray large skillet with Pam, then add oil and turn heat to medium high. Add chicken and quickly brown, being careful to remove while chicken is still raw on the inside. Carefully add to casserole dish, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees about 1/2 hour.
- Open foil carefully, then test chicken with instant thermometer to make sure it’s at least 165 degrees.
- Rice should look done, but a little liquid remaining is OK. (If chicken is done but rice needs a few more minutes, remove chicken from pan and set aside, re-cover dish and bake another 10 minutes, re-adding chicken when rice is done.)
- Remove foil, garnish with peas and cherry tomatoes and rewrap with foil to steam for a couple of minutes. Serve with a smile and green salad.