This time of year it seems like we are constantly “going”. Christmas shopping ,crafting, baking, card-sending; it all adds up to being extremely busy. Dinner is not another task I want to worry about.
Enter chicken and rice. Its the kind of meal you need this time of year. You throw it together and put in the oven. Oh, and it only uses ONE dish.
I am very familiar with the classic Campbell’s Chicken and Rice but I wanted to put my own spin on it. I also wanted something more on the natural and healthy side.
You can find the Pacific brand of condensed soups in almost any grocery store. I always purchase several whenever they are on sale. Same goes for their all natural chicken/beef/turkey stock. I found some turkey stock on sale the week before thanksgiving and loaded up. These are key ingredients that can be used in many things and using the all natural or organic means you aren’t consuming unnecessary preservatives or chemicals. They are great to have on hand at all times and they have a very long shelf life until opened.
Another way I like to stretch my dollar is switching out chicken breasts for chicken tights. I purchase all natural/free range/organic chicken whenever I can but those kind of chicken breasts can be very expensive. That is where the thighs come in. They are considerably less expensive than the breast meat and when they go on sale I buy them in bulk. The best are the boneless and skinless thighs. They are much easier to eat, leaner and since they are dark meat you don’t need the skin to keep them from drying out.
Simple Chicken and Rice
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tights
1 cup long grain rice (I used brown basmati because that’s what I had on hand but any long grain rice will work.)
1 12 oz package Pacific Natural Foods Organic Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup stock low sodium (I would suggest turkey, chicken, or vegetable. If you are all out and don’t have time to hit the store water will work too!)
1 cup water
Paprika (I like it so I used it and I used it a lot. If its not your thing then use less or just leave it out completely.)
Pre-heat oven to 350. Pour the rice, stock and water into a large baking or casserole dish. Stir together. Sprinkle in seasonings. Stir in half of the cream of mushroom soup.
On a different plate place the chicken thighs upside down and salt, pepper, and paprika. Place tights right side up onto of rice mixture. Season the top side with salt, pepper and paprika. Take the remaining soup and spread onto the tops of the chicken thighs.
Place in the oven. Let it bake for about 30 minutes and then check on the liquid levels. If it seems like the rice is close to soaking up all of the liquid add about 1/2 cup more water or stock and gently stir it in. It will take 50-60 minutes total to finish cooking.
Let the casserole sit for a few minutes to let all the liquids absorb before serving. This dish goes great with green beans or roasted brussel sprouts.
What is your favorite “go to” week night meal?