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Chicken and Rice, oh so nice


It seems that most cultures  have some kind of super-delicious chicken and rice dish. I enjoy making one-pot dinners and I like braises in general, so from time to time I make some version of chicken and rice.

The photo actually shows a day 2 left-over lunch. I made this one with chicken thighs and drumsticks with the bones in, but for leftovers, I removed the chicken from the bone for quick and easy re-heating in a fry pan (just add a splash of water, turn on the heat and stir it around until it’s perfect).

I often don’t follow recipes and cook with what I have on-hand. The other day I did purchase some shiitake mushrooms and green olives, actually planning ahead a wee bit. I also used sweet and hot peppers, carrots, cumin, sweet paprika and dried oregano. I guess with the olives it kind of approximates an Arroz con Pollo type dinner.

I make most braises in a Dutch oven, but sometimes I use a tagine instead. I know there are lots of folks who prefer to use a slow cooker for convenience but not me. In fact we had one at some point but I think we re-homed it at a garage sale a few years ago. In a Dutch oven, I can brown my chicken (or whatever), remove it, sautee up some onions until they start to caramelize, deglaze the pan, then add everything together with some cooking liquid. I then pop it in a 300F oven for cooking.

One of the things I like about making chicken and rice dishes compared to most braises is the shorter cooking time. After I add the rice (ordinary long grained rice is fine for this), some tomato paste and the cooking liquid, it’s ready in about 40 minutes.

For chicken and rice, I usually use a handy box of grocery store chicken stock as cooking liquid. Water is ok but not the best. Wine is fine. Beer is really good too. I’ve even used a shot of whiskey or liqueur. I’m all for trying some different things to see what works.

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