Help me tweak this recipe...

Faced with cooking supper on one of those “day before payday” evenings, I scrounged around in my fridge and pantry and concocted the following:

I seasoned and browned 6 boneless/skinless chicken breasts in my skillet; meanwhile I dug out my big oval baking dish and dumped in 2 cups of dry brown rice (Minute Rice, actually), about 1/4 cup or so of fresh grated parmesan, a couple of tablespoons of Italian seasoning (generic stuff from Walmart), some dry onion flakes, and some salt and pepper. I laid the chicken breasts on top, dumped 2 cups of water over it all, and popped it into the oven (uncovered) for about 45 minutes (the breasts were really thick).

The chicken was ok. The rice tasted really good, but it was very dry. There’s also a distinct lack of vegetables, which doesn’t bother me very much except for the fact that I know I’m supposed to eat the vile things to keep me healthy. Any ideas on how I can get more flavor into the chicken, add creaminess to the rice, and maybe add some veggies in a non-obtrusive way? I thought maybe adding a bag of frozen broccoli florets or something would work.

I’ve got 6 more chicken breasts in the freezer and a fridge full of cheddar cheese, as well, if anyone has any ideas for that!

I’m thinking yellow rice would taste good with that, and maybe some diced tomatoes. Tomatoes count as a vegetable, right? I like the broccoli idea too.

My only suggestion is that I found a recipe online years ago with pretty much just consisted of brown rice cooked in vegetable broth, steamed broccoli, chopped walnuts and cheddar cheese which was very good. So maybe try broth instead of water, use the broccoli and add some chopped walnuts for some crunch and flavour?

More flavor in the chicken? Gosh, what do you have? With a thick chicken breast, you can slice sideways into it to make a pocket. Stuff in some interesting spices, lemon juice, and butter or margarine or cheese. Creamier rice? There’s always a can of cream of something soup. If that’s too much, a little milk, or…cream!

I’ve done a similar recipe where the rice was cooked with chicken broth and then had salsa added before the chicken was put on top and all was warmed together.

Frozen veggies are always good if you don’t keep many fresh on hand (corn, green beans, broccoli). Carrots last forever.

I don’t know about Minute Rice, but regular rice requires a 2:1 ratio of water to rice. Maybe you just didn’t have enough liquid?



Yep, they’ve been mentioned already, but I’d add the cheese, brocolli, and lemon juice. Nothing more needed. Maybe a dash of Cayan. But that’s IT!

Use chicken stock/broth in place of the water. As far as the vegetables, I’m a fan of throwing frozen peas into dishes like that. Easy, quick, provide a bit of color, and who doesn’t love peas?! (If the answer is “you”, please disregard.)

Also, consider sauteing some onion and garlic and throwing it in as well. Garlic makes everything better.

Instead of just adding water to the rice, do half water and half Cream-of-Something soup. Mix the water and soup together with a whisk and stir into the rice, then lay the chicken on top and bake like usual.

You could have/should have cooked that covered with a tight fitting lid, especially considering how little liquid you seemed to add in proportion to the rice. After the rice was properly cooked, you could have taken the cover off to brown the chicken. Marinating the chicken for even 1/2 hour would had helped. I suggest non diet gingerale, white pepper, sages and salt for a marinade.

Place some sliced onions/minced garlic under and on top of the chicken breasts before cooking.
Still it sounded like an interesting dish with potential…

Onions, garlic, celery chopped up and added to the rice, then chicken broth instead of water. You might do it on the stovetop in a skillet, instead of the oven, seeing as how you used minute rice. Adding canned tomatoes would be good, too.

I would brown up the chicken, then remove to a plate. Add the diced veggies and saute for a bit. Then add your tomatoes/liquids (wine would be good!) and add the chicken back in to simmer for a while in the liquid. Then add the minute rice until liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with cheese!

Btw, I have no idea what “minute rice” is, but assuming that it is rice that cooks more quickly than regular, there’s absolutely no reason in a recipe like this that you can’t just use plain old brown rice.

Oh, and my Mom’s favourite ‘quick’ recipe is minute rice, crushed or diced tomatoes and cheese. Baked.

You could mix in broccoli or something else too I suppose.

Mushrooms! And onions!

And if you use tomatoes, expect that they will take the place of some of the liquid. Don’t use minute rice-- use regular rice. You can add some strips of red and/or green bell pepper, but I wouldn’t put them in for more than 15 minutes or they’ll just get all mushy.

Another thought: You can simmer this (covered) on the stove instead of cooking it in the oven. Makes it easier to add things as it cooks, and since you already are browning the chicken, just use the same pot. I wouldn’t use Italian seasoning. Maybe just some thyme and marjoram or rosemary.

Two cups of rice and two cups of water, baked in an open dish? Ya…that’s one way to make dry crunchy rice. :smiley:

You’d need to roughly double the liquid for open cooking or keep a lid on it.

What you made sounds very similar to a dish known in my family as “Sue’s chicken and rice” which is odd as there’s nobody named Sue in our family. Going from memory, the proportions are a cup of normal (non-instant) rice, a can of cream of whatever soup and a can of milk. Stir that together and lay on chicken parts. Bake at <mumble> for <mumble> minutes or until the chicken’s done. I think it’s 425 for 45 minutes.

You could have made Arroz con pollo.

Great ideas, thanks! The rice I made wasn’t crunchy, but it was dry. I didn’t have any cream of anything soup lying around or I’d have dumped it in; I thought about adding some milk but I was afraid it would get all scorchy. I think next time I’ll add some broccoli and maybe some carrots and up the liquid, and then add cream or milk and butter towards the end. Probably a good idea to cook it in my electric skillet, too.

Strictly speaking, she already did make “rice with chicken,” but I know what you mean. :stuck_out_tongue:

I dunno, sounds like it needs more cowbell.

I’m hungry.