A few years ago, my friend Margaret gave me an easy recipe for baked chicken and rice. This is a tasty meal that requires very little preparation. Even if you're just cooking for yourself, making a large batch means you'll have tasty microwavable dinners for the next couple days. If you're cooking for a casual get together, this is a great recipe since it frees you up to chat or make a salad while the chicken and rice is in the oven.
The ingredients for this dish are variable. Essentially, all you need is a can of cream of mushroom, rice, water, and chicken parts. Vegetables (like spinach and broccoli), aromatics (like celery, garlic, onions, carrots, and shallots), and spices (paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, etc.) are all great additions to the dish to add variety and a little excitement.
In today's example, I will be using onion, garlic, zucchini, and garlic powder as my add-ins. Start with one medium onion, one clove garlic, one cup rice, one can condensed cream of mushroom, four pounds of chicken parts, 2-1/2 cups water, and one medium zucchini. I used chicken thighs in this example but I generally prefer to use drumsticks for this recipe. I usually lay out the chicken pieces in the pan that I plan to bake the chicken in. That way I know how many pieces to use in the recipe. If there's time, the chicken can be improved by brining in a 4 cup water 1/2 cup table salt solution for about an hour. The onion is diced, garlic is minced, and the zucchini cut lengthwise twice and then chopped into 1/4 in. slices. [IMG]
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Melt one tablespoon butter in a large oven-safe pan. If you're planning on using a different pan to bake the chicken, then you can use a saucepan for this. [IMG]
When the butter foams and begins to subside, add one cup rice to the melted butter. [IMG]
Cook, while stirring, until some of the rice becomes opaque. The rice will become lightly browned while we cook the onions in the next step. [IMG]
Add the diced onions and cook until tender (about 2 minutes). Meanwhile, whisk the can of cream of mushroom with 2-1/2 cup water until smooth. [IMG]
Stir in the minced garlic followed immediately with the zucchini. [IMG]
Pour the cream of mushroom mixture into the pan and stir to combine. (If using a separate pan for baking, pour the cream of mushroom mixture into the pan and then add the cooked rice and onions to the mixture. Stir until combined.) [IMG]
Add the chicken pieces to the mixture. Sprinkle the surface of the mixture with 1 teaspoon garlic powder. [IMG]
Bake at 375°F for 1 hour or until thighs read 170°F. If using drumsticks, begin checking for doneness after 45 minutes. In general, it's pretty hard to overcook dark meat prepared in this manner, so don't worry too much. [IMG]
After removing the chicken from the oven, let it stand for about five minutes before scooping out the rice and chicken pieces. (Otherwise, the rice will probably flow everywhere, and it will be difficult to plate effectively.) [IMG]
Much love for that last anonymous guy for crapping on basically everything that makes America great.
We like us some white rice, canned soup, and fatty chicken. And if you don't like THAT, you can always go to someplace in Africa where all you've got to worry about if your nose falling off from the BO.
[Editor's Note: The anonymous comment referenced in this comment has been removed.]
If you don't like the condensed soup, try using organic vegetable broth instead. That would work just as well, but you'll need to tweak the spices a little bit.
I'm not sure if the butter can be replaced in the rice-browning step with another type of grease; although I'd probably choose to use wild rice rather than white rice.
As far as "fatty animal parts" ... look, buddy, go crunch yer granola elsewhere. Sheesh.
I love this web page. It is one I check regularly and I really appreciate your different approach to cooking. Why anyone would have a problem with anything you do I really do not understand. Why someone would take the time to write a nasty comment, I REALLY don't get.
So glad I could muster up a little controversy. My apologies for the harsh words to the well intentioned chef, but I stand by my summation of this recipe: gross and sodium laden.
Yes, we Americans love white rice, canned soup and fatty chicken – 400,000+ of us needlessly die each year because of the crap we eat.
Pre-hypertension and pre-diabetes in children is nearing epidemic proportions. American Airlines are losing millions because of fat passengers. And trillion dollar health care costs – well let’s just let the drug companies come up with a fix.
Of course, we as American have a right to eat ourselves to death while we spend billions to protect us from terrorists. Getting “worked up” over a food blog seems no less rational than getting worked up over . . .
This mild concoction of sodium, chicken fat and processed carbohydrates, as with most of the other recipes here, appear tame by Big Mac standards. And that is where the problem lies.
And I stand by what I said: I don't think much of people who go out of their way to be ugly and cruel. This site not your cup of tea? Great, I'm pretty sure there are other websites out there that are more to your liking. Just move on - leaving a nasty message before you leave isn't too classy.
By they way, I'm an American, I'm not overweight, I run three miles a day and have no health issues and I love salt! But thanks for worrying about me, anyway.
While I won't try to ponder your analogy of bad dietary choices and defense spending, I will say I'm mildly annoyed at health fascists who think if 400,000 don't die today, they won't die tomorrow - or rack up massive health care costs in their geriatric years. I prefer to live my life not obsessing over the latest healthy-living crazes.
Time to crack a beer, smoke a cigarette, and oh, don't forget to pass the salt.
Keep 'em coming Michael. Looking forward to the next recipe calling for heavy cream.
Ah, the ol' can of cambell's rears it's ugly head. I ate this dish for years, loved it. I still love it, but I can't handle the sodium. That's just under 2000mg of sodium. I believe. Brown rice in butter? You bet, it's my favorite. Brown it in butter and cook with water or chicken broth. Comes out all nutty and exploded apart. So nice. You could brown it in duck or goose fat too. For these types of dishes I make my own bechamel sauce with sauteed mushrooms. Takes longer but doesn't make the one kidney have left jump.
Another recipe along these lines is to use the creamy cambells soup as a coating along with bread crumbs, spray with oil over chicken pieces and make baked fried chicken.
Or as a gravy over hamburger patties with extra sauteed mushrooms (dump can in to skillet and cook with 3/4 cooked patties).
"Michael Chu, I am sorry for criticizing your chicken and rice dish. Can you ever forgive me? "
I seriously doubt Mr. Chu cares. If he didn't want criticism he would turn comments off. However, I do take exception to your criticism for the following reasons:
"only an idiot cooks with sodium laden ..."
...isn't probably the best or most effective way to make a point. Calling the author an "idiot" is a classic ad-hominem attack (Cambell's soup has lots of salt, salt is bad, therefore Mr. Chu must certainly be an idiot). I understand it's fashionable and popular for the left to make such attacks, I would presume this is learned behavior from your peer groups and idols. (ad-hominem back-at-ya)
"no one should be eating..."
...see my previous comments regarding "health fascists". I prefer to choose what I eat, not be told what to.
"...no real engineer has that kind of time"
...are you an engineer? I doubt it. Engineers have a habit of focusing, almost to the point of obsessive-compulsion, on the matter at hand.
By the way, when you mentioned: "my first apology was perhaps a bit too Bush-like"
I think you meant Kerry. I believe it was he that would say one thing, then say another. Politics certainly have their place on blogs, but I don't see the relevance here. (no, I'm not a republican...I'm a libertarian, like most level-headed engineers ;-)