Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chicken Rice a Roni

When I was in high school, one of my favorite snacks was a bowl full of store bought Rice a Roni. My sisters and I would make a box and munch on it. This recipe is my version of a made from scratch Rice A Roni that is definitely more nutritious and isn't full of ingredients that you can't pronounce! It also reminds me of a recipe my best friend of 20 years, Dawn Stamp, gave me about 10 years ago for a rice pilaf that her mom often made for dinner. It required toasting pasta and rice in butter and then adding chicken broth. It's so tasty and the butter gives it so much flavor. This is definitely one recipe your family will love!I served it with a salad made with fresh spring mix and strawberries topped with balsalmic vinaigrette and my sauteed Brussels sprouts (recipe below).

4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
salt, pepper and garlic powder
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small package baby portabella mushrooms or button mushrooms, diced
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1/4 of a package of thin spaghetti broken into little pieces
1 cup white rice
1/4 cup red cooking wine or red wine
3 3/4 cups low sodium chicken broth or stock
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Minced fresh flat leaf parsley
Options for adding extra veggies: stir in 1 cup thawed frozen peas before serving, add 1 large broccoli crown cut into small florets (about 2 cups of broccoli) when adding the chicken back to the pot before baking

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Season chicken on both sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Heat the olive oil in a large sautee pan or dutch oven (oven proof). Brown chicken on both sides over medium heat. Remove from pan. Add the shrooms. Sautee until they begin to caramelize, about 7 minutes. Add the onions, the 1 tsp salt and pepper. Sautee 3 minutes, until tender. Add the garlic and sautee 1 minute. Remove from the pan. Melt the butter. Add the pasta and turn the heat up to medium-high. Sautee until light brown and toaste, about 2-3 minutes. Add the rice. Sautee for one minute. Stir in the sauteed veggies. Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping to incorporate all of the browned bits off the bottom. Pour in the chicken broth. Add the chicken breasts back to the pan. Bring to a boil, cover and bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley.

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