Last winter, I became obsessed with cooking one pot dinners. I like the simplicity, of course, but also the challenge of making rice and other grains cook perfectly with meat and vegetables at the same time. It's all about the timing, proportions of ingredients, and temperature.
This chicken and rice dish was one of my winners. It's super easy, tasty, and you probably have the ingredients in your house at all times.
Ingredients: 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (not pictured), olive oil, basmati rice, 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, garlic powder, bay leaves, Lawry's seasoned salt, paprika, and black pepper.
Traditionally, these types of dishes are made with short grain rice, because long grain rice like basmati is more fragile and prone to breaking in the cooking process. However, I've been using basmati because it has a lower glycemic index than other kinds of white rice, making it healthier for those watching their sugar intake.
In a large cast iron pot, heat 3 T. olive oil over medium high heat. Brown the chicken breasts on both sides. After turning them over, season with 1/2 t. garlic, 1/2 t. seasoned salt, 1 t. paprika, and 1/4 t. pepper. If you like things spicy, you could totally add Tabasco sauce or any other hot sauce at this point.
Add the can of tomatoes, 3/4 c. rice, 1 1/4 c. water, and 2 bay leaves. Stir, and allow to come to a boil.
After the mixture boils, cover, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for 25-30 minutes. Stir the mixture gently once or twice during this time, but don't mix it too much or you will break the rice.
When it's done, the rice will be tender and simmering in its own sauce:
Yummy! Quick, easy, and healthy: my favorite combination for weeknight dinners. There is something so magical about cooking rice with sauce. Every time, I marvel at how such a simple process can make such deep and wonderful flavors. Enjoy!
I'm a school librarian, cookbook author, and longtime fan of food and literature. Welcome to my blog!