Skillet Chicken, Veggies and Rice

[Chicken, veggies and rice]I wanted something simple for dinner and had chicken thighs thawing in the fridge. A trip to the grocery store yield mushrooms and a bit of inspiration from the canned soup aisle.

I have a fond memory for a baked chicken and rice dish that involved condensed cream of something soup. The strongest memory I have of it is from a youth retreat program from my late teens that had a strong influence on me. In the intervening years I’ve learned more than I want about how not-great-for-me condensed soup is and so I decided to try to make something similar with just chicken broth and water. The result was pretty good without the I’m eating what self-shame.

Skillet Chicken, Veggies and Rice
Servings: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken thighs, skin removed and trimmed of excess fat
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced 1/8″ thick
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 4 celery stalks, rinsed and roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 8 oz. frozen lima beans, thawed
  • 2 cups chicken broth plus 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white rice
  • 1 tsp. Greek seasoning (see note)
  • kosher salt and black pepper

Directions:

  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 350°F.
  2. Pat dry the chicken thighs dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a 12″ skillet over high heat until smoking. Add the thighs, skin(less) side down and leave untouched for 2 minutes. Give a gentle tug to see if they have released from the pan, if so give them a flip. If not cook another minute until they have released of their own choice. Cook on the second side for 2 minutes and then transfer the thighs to a plate.
  4. While the chicken cooks heat the chicken broth for 5 minutes in the microwave.
  5. Reduce the skillet heat to medium. Add the mushrooms to the skillet, sprinkle with salt, toss in the oil and cook for 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms have started to release liquid. Add the onions, peppers and celery along with another generous pinch of salt. Toss to incorporate. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring/tossing a couple of times.
  6. Add the chicken broth, butter and lima beans; bring to a simmer.
  7. Stir in the rice and nestle the chicken on top. Place a square of aluminum foil over the skillet and cover with a lid to make a tight seal.
  8. Carefully transfer the skillet to the oven. Cook for 20 minutes, rotating 180° halfway through cooking.
  9. Check the chicken temperature by carefully removing the cover and foil and probing with an instant read thermometer. The temp should be at least 170°F. When the chicken has reached that point move the skillet back to the stove top. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes:
The veggie to rice ratio will seem really off in favor of veggies when you add the dry rice however it will balance out after cooking.

You could easily double the number of chicken thighs for this recipe, just brown them in 2 batches.

I used Penzey’s Greek Seasoning which is a combination of salt, oregano, garlic, dried lemon peel, black pepper and marjoram. You could substitute 2 small cloves of garlic, minced or pressed, along with 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, 1/4 tsp. lemon zest, 1/4 tsp. dried marjoram and salt + pepper to taste.

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