Monday, October 10, 2016
I think it's safe to say that chicken and rice is a staple in everyone's recipe stash. But, this particular recipe is like no other that you've experienced before. This is even true for me, before I came across this recipe I had never tasted, let alone made a chicken and rice dish like this. And after the first bite I wondered where the heck it had been my whole life!
This ain't your typical chicken and rice. It's not loaded with cream of _______ and cream of _______. I'm not downing the "cream of" soups because I use them in my fare share of recipes, but this recipe doesn't call for them, and they truly are not missed. It's not topped with gobs of bubbly, gooey cheese. Again, nothing wrong with that, but this isn't that type of recipe.
Instead, this chicken and rice focuses on it's name sake. Tender, juicy chicken and rice that is loaded with tons of flavor.
This is a "back to the basics" recipe, if you will. This is the type of cooking our grandparents and great grandparents did. Good, fresh chicken sautéed with butter, onions, and celery and left to caramelize to give even more flavor to the dish. The chicken is removed and the riced is cooked in the same pan with the veggies to infuse even more flavor and to allow all those bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan to be scraped up and infuse the dish.
Southern Style Chicken and Rice
1 1/2 Cups rice (I used brown rice, but use whatever you'd like)
3 Cups chicken broth or stock
1-2 Tbsp butter
1 Onion, diced
3 Stalks celery, finely chopped
3-4 Cloves garlic, minced
6 Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Salt and pepper, to taste
Place the butter in a large pan and allow to melt. Once melted add the onions and celery and sauté until translucent. Add the chicken thighs and allow to cook over medium until the vegetables become very soft and the pan begins to glaze (about 3-4 minutes). OR, turn the heat down to low/medium-low and allow to cook for about 20-30 minutes. This will yield a lot of good caramelization on the bottom of the pan, which will give you super big flavors running throughout the entire dish. Once the chicken is almost cooked though (about 75% of the way), remove from heat and allow to sit until cooled. Once the chicken has cooled, cut into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
Leave the vegetables in the pan. There should also be some oil left in the pan. Add the rice and garlic to the oil and stir around to coat. Turn heat on medium and allow to cook for one to two minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice begins to turn slightly transparent. If there is any oil left after the two minute period, discard and then add the chicken broth. Begin deglazing the pan by stirring the rice and scraping the bits off the bottom of the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and add the chicken back in the pan.
Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove pan from stove and allow to sit for about 10 minutes. Stir, season with salt and pepper. Add parsley, if using and stir to combine.
Recipe source: Seasoned Homemaker