Tuesday, March 22, 2011

One Pot Chicken over Cheesy Rice

Chicken over rice gets a gourmet twist in this delicious comfort food dish.

Mis en Place
It's nice to have everything prepped and ready. It's makes cooking a breeze.

 Starting with the rice first-
Onion and bell pepper are added to sizzling butter (um, yum)...

 ...followed by long grain rice...

 ...and chicken stock and a bay leaf.
Once all the liquid is absorbed into the rice, this beautiful fontina cheese (below) is added.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself. While the rice is simmering away, we start on the chicken portion of this meal.

 The chicken dish starts with bacon. Lovely, salty, delicious bacon. Drool.
The chicken gets cooked in the rendered fat from the bacon (so evil, so tasty).
Once the chicken is cooked through and removed from the pan, you're left with a tasty broth in which to cook some onions and fresh garlic. It just keeps getting better!
Once the garlic gets fragrant, you add mushrooms, thyme and chicken stock and something magical happens-- you're left with the best tasting, most flavorful broth! 
 The chicken and bacon get added back into the mushroom mixture and the chicken portion is complete.
The rice is finished off with peas and fontina....
  ...and then it's time to eat!  And this dish is sooo good! The rice is cheesy and creamy from the fontina and has a great texture and flavor from the yellow peppers and peas. The chicken and bacon mixture is delicious (how could it not be?) and the broth is unbelievably good. So, make sure to get a big scoop of rice and lots of broth when you serve up the chicken mixture!
The final picture doesn't do this dish justice. But, take my word for it (and five other adults) this chicken dish served over cheesy rice is absolutely delicious!

One Pot Chicken over Cheesy Rice
6 bacon slices, roughly chopped
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons minced garlic
8 ounces button mushrooms, wiped clean and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 cup chicken stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup minced green onions
Cheesy Rice Pilaf, recipe follows
2 tablespoons minced parsley leaves, for garnish

In an electric skillet or a large heavy skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels. Season the chicken with the Essence, and add to the fat in the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. To the pan add the onions, and pepper, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and thyme, and cook until the mushrooms give off their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, stirring to deglaze the pan. Add the reserved chicken, lower the heat, and simmer until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the bacon and green onions, and stir well. Remove from the heat and serve over the Cheesy Rice Pilaf, and garnish with the parsley.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 2/3 cup

Cheesy Rice Pilaf:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow bell peppers
1 cup long-grain rice
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 pound fontina or mozzarella, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

In a heavy, medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and bell peppers, and cook, stirring until soft, about 4 minutes. Add rice, salt, and bay leaf and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the stock and stir. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the rice is almost tender, about 15 minutes. Add the peas, cover and continue simmering until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf and fluff the rice with a fork. Add the cheeseand parlsey, and stir. Serve immediately.

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