Category Archives: Rice

Drunken Chicken and Rice

Anytime someone uses the word “drunken” in a recipe you know it involves alcohol. Fortunately, the alcohol usually burns off and you are left with the wonderful flavor alcohol brings to the recipe. My Drunken Chicken and Rice recipe was inspired by a recipe I saw on “Pati’s Mexican Table”.

I was watching her show while trying to come up with an idea for dinner and noticed she was making a dish with chicken thighs which I happen to have had on hand in the refrigerator. I planned to make curried chicken the next day so I had picked up the boneless chicken thighs at the grocers that morning. But, after watching Pati I figured why not try her recipe instead since I had most of the same ingredients and could substitute a few of my own.

The end result was a pan full of deliciousness. My son T looked at me after taking one bite and said, “Your putting this on your blog – right?” while hubby was digging in for his second bowl. Of course both of them added a little more heat to their portions but there was just enough heat for my tender taste buds. As a side dish, I made Poblano peppers stuffed with a blend of Mexican cheeses. I actually chopped up my Poblano pepper and stirred it into my bowl of Drunken Chicken and Rice. Absolutely Wonderful! The Poblano was an excellent accompaniment to the chicken and rice.

I would definitely recommend this recipe for a quick one pan meal. The less fuss and clean up the better in my book.

Drunken Chicken and Rice

Ingredients:

6 – 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs cubed

2 garlic cloves chopped

1 small can of green chiles

½ white onion diced

½ yellow pepper diced

½ red pepper diced

3 cups chicken broth

2 cups white long grain rice

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup beer (your choice)

½ cup diced fresh tomatoes

4 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp Kosher salt

½ tbsp seasoned salt

½ tbsp ground black pepper

1 tsp onion powder

½ tsp smoked paprika

½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

½ tsp Chile lime seasoning (optional)

Rinse rice in cold water and set aside.

Place chicken in a large bowl and season with salt, pepper, onion powder, smoked paprika and red pepper flakes. Stir to coat chicken with seasonings. Set aside.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat Add chicken to the hot skillet and spread it out. Brown chicken on both sides then remove from the skillet and place in a bowl. Set aside.

Add a little more oil to the skillet then add the rice. Stir the rice to coat it with the oil and let cook for about 1 – 2 minutes. Stir occasionally. Move the rice to the edges of the skillet to create a well in the center of the skillet. Add onions, peppers, tomatoes, green chiles, garlic, cumin and Chile lime seasoning. Stir the veggies and cook about 2 – 3 minutes until they begin to soften. Mix veggies and rice together then add beer. Stir then let simmer for 1 – 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, cooked chicken and peas to the skillet. Stir to mix well then cover and cook about 15 – 20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked through. Taste for seasoning and add a little more salt or other seasonings if necessary.

Side Dish Ideas:

  • Poblano Peppers stuffed with a blend of Mexican cheeses
  • Wilted Buttered Spinach

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Rice and Spinach Casserole

Some days are harder than others to come up with side dish ideas. Potatoes, pasta and rice in various forms usually come to mind but can become boring or routine.

The other day I was trying to figure out what to do with the leftover rice in the fridge because I had made too much. Chicken and rice soup was one idea but we were still eating the Lentil and Carrot Ginger Soup I had made two days before. So, soup was out. Then I thought about making a casserole and maybe making it similar to my Macaroni and Cheese recipe. The idea morphed into a Rice and Spinach Casserole.

This recipe was so simple and quick to make because the rice was already cooked which meant it did not take long to pull the recipe together. I must say the Rice and Spinach Casserole did not come out exactly like my macaroni and cheese but it was doggone tasty. I think because rice and pasta have two different consistencies the rice did not come out as creamy as macaroni and cheese. Still the rice dish had a certain level of creaminess. It’s kind of hard to explain so I will just say you will have to try the recipe to see what I mean.

As always, I use my family as a guide to whether or not a recipe is blog worthy. Both my youngest son and hubby enjoyed my “new” side dish and happily had seconds of the Rice and Spinach Casserole. I will say a side dish tastes even better when the entire meal is good so that folks want to get just a little bit more of everything.

Rice and Spinach Casserole

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked rice (leftover rice works well)

1 ½ cups fresh baby spinach

1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese

½ cup shredded pepper jack cheese

½ cup half and half milk

1 can 2% evaporated milk

2 tbsp butter

cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray a medium sized casserole dish with cooking spray. Set aside ¼ cup cheddar cheese.

Place cooked rice into the casserole dish. Pour evaporated milk and half and half over the rice. Add spinach, cheese and butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix well then top with remaining ¼ cup of shredded cheddar cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the liquid is evaporated and a knife comes out clean when placed in the middle of the casserole.

Remove from oven and serve with your favorite dish.

Thai Curry Salmon Bowl

On the days I want to prepare a light simple meal I will usually turn to fish or specifically salmon. Salmon is my favorite fish and is very versatile and easy to make.

Today, I did not want to make Blackened Salmon Salad or Teriyaki Salmon. Instead, I wanted to test whether or not salmon would hold up in a Thai curry sauce. I have created curried fish recipes in the past but with slightly different flavors and seasonings. For my Thai Curry Salmon Bowl I used red Thai curry paste I found at the grocery store rather than adding curry powder to the dish. In my humble opinion, the red Thai curry paste had less of a bite than curry seasonings but still had intense flavor. An added bonus was that the house did not smell like curry the next day. I love curry but the seasoning when cooked lingers in the air for quite a while.

“Bowls” are very popular right now and I think eating from a bowl helps to limit portion sizes. Whatever you can fit into a bowl is all you need to eat unless you are starving or the meal is do delicious you just have to go for seconds.

My Thai Curry Salmon Bowl was ultra delicious per both hubby and me. If it had not been so filling on the first round, I would have gone for seconds. Yum!

Thai Curry Salmon Bowl

Ingredients:

1 – 2 salmon fillets cut into thick chunks

3-4 Shishito peppers diced

1 can lite coconut milk

1 can diced tomatoes

1 small jar red Thai Curry Paste

2 tbsp Kosher salt

2 tbsp ground black pepper

2 tbsp grape seed oil

1 tbsp lemon zest

1 tbsp ginger paste or diced fresh ginger

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp chili lime seasoning (optional)

Place salmon chunks on wax paper and season with lemon juice, 1 tbsp Kosher salt and 1 tbsp ground black pepper.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add grape seed oil. Let oil heat for about 1 minute then add Thai Curry Paste, ginger paste and garlic. Stir to blend and continue to stir for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, Shishito peppers and lemon zest. Stir to mix. Sprinkle mixture with remaining salt, pepper, onion powder and chili lime seasoning and stir to blend. Slowly pour in coconut milk while constantly stirring. Turn hit down to medium low. Place salmon in the sauce and spoon some sauce over the salmon. Cover and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until salmon is cooked all the way through. While simmering spoon sauce over salmon periodically. Serve over a bowl of rice.

Optional Additions:

Sea Scallops

Steamed Cabbage

Roasted Asparagus

Sauteed Mixed Peppers

 

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Chicken and Cabbage Stew

One pot dishes are good for both hubby and me. Good for me because I don’t have to fuss with a lot of different pots, pans and utensils. It’s good for hubby because he usually washes dishes since I cook so less clean up for him.

When I think about it, that is how my mom and dad operated in the kitchen. My mom is an excellent chef and since she did most of the cooking my dad would wash the dishes. Like my hubby, my dad could fix breakfast but that was about it for him. I can’t complain about hubby’s lack of culinary skills because besides washing dishes hubby vacuums and will wash clothes if I don’t get to them first. My in-laws did a great job raising two sons that are productive and aren’t afraid to help around the house. God Bless my dad and in-laws. I miss them everyday.

Okay, back to my Chicken and Cabbage Stew. This is a relatively quick meal and as previously stated the beauty of it is using only one pot. The one constant in our house is chicken. Yes, I sometimes go on and on about eating so much chicken but you really cannot beat it for the price and the health benefits compared to red meats. Adding a few light vegetables to the pot just enhances the nutritional value and cuts down on calories as well as fat.

Aside from the flavors of the Chicken and Cabbage Stew I liked the colors of the dish. The bright red of the peppers. The pop of orange from the carrots and turmeric broth. Plus, the contrast of green between the cooked green peppers and sprinkle of green onions on top. Eating with your eyes is just as important as enjoying the mixed flavors of any dish.

Chicken and Cabbage Stew

Ingredients:

4 – 6 drumsticks or boneless chicken thighs

2 celery stalks diced

1 green onion diced

1 small green pepper diced

1 small red pepper diced

1 small Napa cabbage shredded

1 bag baby carrots

2 cups chicken stock or broth

3 tbsp grape seed oil or olive oil

2 tbsp tomato paste

2 tbsp salt

1 tbsp seasoned salt

1 tbsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp turmeric

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp cumin

½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

½ tsp dried parsley

Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Season chicken with 1 tbsp salt, seasoned salt and ground black pepper. Brown chicken then remove from dutch oven and place on a plate to cool slightly. Remove meat from drumsticks and chop or cube chicken thighs. Set aside.

Reduce heat to medium and add onions (except for green onions), peppers and celery to the pot. Season with remaining salt, onion powder, cumin, dried parsley and red pepper flakes. Stir for 1 minute or until vegetables begin to soften. Add tomato paste and turmeric. Stir to blend with vegetables. Add chicken with juices along with chicken stock and carrots to the dutch oven. Let simmer for 10 – 15 minutes then add shredded Napa cabbage. Stir and continue to cook for an additional 20 minutes until the cabbage is cooked and tender.

Serve over rice and sprinkle with green onion.

 

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Spicy Taco Chicken Bowl

The “new” craze right now is creating recipes and putting the dish in bowls. At first, I wasn’t really into the bowl idea but it didn’t take long for me to realize I kinda liked the idea. Placing breakfast, lunch or dinner in a bowl helped to cut down on the amount of food we actually ate. I put less in a bowl compared to  how much I put on a plate.

One of my first bowl adventures was my Asian Bowl with Lollipop Lamb Chops. Not to brag too much but that recipe was a big hit with hubby. Now, he has another favorite. My Spicy Taco Chicken Bowl. This recipe was a little spicy with various textures and flavors that complimented each other. Although there are several components to the recipe, I think it is a very simple dish. Shredded spicy taco flavored chicken, crispy yellow rice, seasoned black beans and a mix of avocado and tomatoes. The hardest thing about this recipe is the wait time. Yeah, this one isn’t quick to make only because the chicken has to bake. While the chicken bakes about an hour all of the other pieces can easily be pulled together.

Even I couldn’t complain about having chicken again. Plus, I didn’t take the easy way out and make wingettes. Instead, I opted for chicken legs because they are meaty and you don’t have to take a long time to clean them like chicken thighs. Granted, I think chicken thigh meat is sweeter than chicken leg meat but it takes work to get thighs ready for cooking. Maybe the next time I make a Spicy Taco Chicken Bowl I’ll build in extra time and try it with chicken thighs. Whichever chicken part you choose (legs vs. thighs), I am confident you will enjoy my Spicy Taco Chicken Bowl. Healthy, Easy and Delicious!

Spicy Taco Chicken Bowl

Ingredients:

6 – 8 chicken legs washed

2 plum tomatoes diced

2 scallions diced

2 slices bacon diced

1 can black beans rinsed

1 avocado diced

1 pkg hot and spicy taco seasoning

½ stick butter melted

1 ½ cup water

1 ½ cup chicken broth

1 ½ cups white rice

1 ½ tbsp salt

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

½ tbsp ground black pepper

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cilantro

½ tsp dried parsley

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp Chile powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place chicken in a large bowl. Season with 1 tbsp salt, black pepper, Chile powder and all but 1 tsp hot and spicy taco seasoning. Add melted butter and mix until chicken is well coated. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray then place chicken in one layer in the baking dish. Bake for 1 hour until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes then pull meat off the bone into chunks. Place chicken in a medium size skillet with ¼ chicken stock and remaining taco seasoning. Stir and let simmer for 5 minutes.

While chicken is cooking prepare the following:

Rice:

Rinse rice with cold water to remove some of the starch. Place in a microwaveable casserole dish with a pinch salt, turmeric, water and chicken broth. Place in microwave uncovered for 21 minutes until cooked. Remove from microwave and fluff up rice with a fork. Let cool for about 10 – 15 minutes. While rice is cooling cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp over medium high heat. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels. Reduce heat to medium high and add rice and scallions to the bacon grease breaking up any clumps of rice. Let rice crisp up for about 3 minutes then stir and flip to crisp up the other side. Cook for an additional 3 minutes then toss in bacon and mix in thoroughly. Cook another 2 minutes then remove from heat.

Prepare Tomato and Avocado:

Place diced tomatoes and avocado in a medium sized bowl. Season with a little salt, ground black pepper, parsley and lemon juice. Gently toss with a spoon. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator.

Black Beans:

Place black beans in a small pot and add a little chicken broth. Season with salt, pepper, cilantro and onion powder. Cook over medium heat for 3 – 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Bowl Setup:

Place crispy yellow rice in the bottom of an individual bowl. Add chicken to one side of the bowl then add the black beans along with tomato and avocado mix. Enjoy!

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Crispy Rice

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Whenever I prepare my Curried Fish dish I try to compliment it with a side dish that has a contrasting texture. I usually use cod when I make Curried Fish which is a very soft flaky fish. Sometimes I will pair the fish with crisp sauteed cabbage or I will prepare Crispy Rice which speaks for itself.

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A slight take on fried rice, my Crispy Rice reminds me of the kind of rice my mom used to make every time she had leftover perlo rice. I know you are saying to yourself “what the heck is perlo rice?”. Well, it is a southern dish my mom made by cooking rice in ham broth or chicken broth. Chicken and rice perlo is a very popular dish in the south but is found in slightly different versions across the world from Persia (pilau) to Turkey (pilav) to Spain (paella). Each country has adopted their own interpretation of this meat and rice dish. I have to be honest about my many attempts to make perlo rice. I have failed on most occasions. I have never been able to perfect perlo rice the way my mom does it. My attempts typically come out mushy (overcooked) or a little too al dente. I actually gave up on making perlo rice and just ask my mom to make it for me whenever I have a taste for it. One day I may try making perlo rice again but for now I am good with asking mom to make it.

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Back to my Crispy Rice. Like my mom I use leftover rice or I will make it early the same day I want to fix it and just refrigerate it for a couple of hours. The cold rice fries better than soft freshly cooked rice. In order to kick up the flavor in my Crispy Rice I add scallions, fresh spinach and crispy bacon. In my opinion, bacon makes most recipes taste great but cubed ham is also good in this dish so try whichever one you like best. I can almost guarantee that when you make Crispy Rice there will not be much leftover if any at all. This one will make the family clean their plates.

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Crispy Rice

Ingredients:

2 cups cold white rice

4 scallions sliced

4 slices crispy bacon chopped

½ bag baby leaf spinach

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp cracked black pepper

cooking spray

Spray a large frying pan with cooking spray. Add butter and olive oil to frying pan and heat over medium high heat until butter is melted. Do not let butter burn. Add scallions to the pan and saute for 1 – 2 minutes. Add rice to the pan and break up with a spatula. Stir to coat rice with butter and olive oil. Let rice brown and stir every few minutes for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add bacon and spinach to the pan. Season with black pepper. Stir until spinach begins to wilt. Remove from heat and cover for 2 minutes.

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Wild Rice Salad

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I love this time of year when the weather is slightly warm during the day and cool at night. It lets me know summer is coming and our meals will be filled with grilled foods and salads. All kinds of salads!!! I am fortunate that everyone in the family likes eating salads so it makes it easy for me to come up with a variety of warm or cold salads that go well with grilled chicken, fish and barbeque.

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My latest salad experiment is a Wild Rice Salad. I liked this one because I could serve it either chilled, slightly warmed or at room temperature. Rice isn’t heavy but can be very filling so it goes well with most entrees. If you don’t want to eat a lot of food but you want to feel like you have eaten a meal, put a little more rice on your plate. You will feel quite full and may not even want dessert. I know, who am I kidding. Everyone wants dessert no matter what. At least you may want a little less dessert.

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Whenever I make salads I try to combine both veggies and fruits. Golden raisins are one of the staples in my pantry as well as cranberries. Most of the leafy salads I make include fruits, nuts and cheese. I wasn’t too confident that including all three of those ingredients would work in a Wild Rice Salad so I decided to stick with fruit and nuts. The combination of wild rice, oranges and pecans was perfect. Savory, sweet and crunchy. Not bad if I do say so myself. One more wonderful salad recipe added to my long list of summertime dishes.

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Wild Rice Salad

Ingredients:
1 box wild rice (approximately 2 cups cooked)
1 10 oz can mandarin oranges drained
¼ cup golden raisins
¼ cup cranberries
¼ cup celery small dice
¼ cup vinaigrette
1 tsp lemon zest
½ tsp black pepper
pinch of salt

Prepare wild rice according to package. Let rice cool then place in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

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Stuffed Peppers with Sausage

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If you want a make ahead meal that is relatively quick to assemble, then stuffed peppers is the way to go. This is a one of those entrees that incorporates a meat, veggies and a starch all into the same dish. All you need to do to make it a full meal is add a nice green salad – or not.

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The great thing about stuffed peppers is that you can stuff them with whatever you like. They can be strictly vegetarian, stuffed with meat or seafood depending on your mood when you fix them. This recipe is made with savory sausage and rice. I have also stuffed peppers with crabmeat and shrimp using the same basic recipe but created a different type of sauce.

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One of the tricks to making stuffed peppers is to cover them with foil so that the peppers can steam. Otherwise, you may wind up with a pepper that is not properly cooked through or if cooked too long turns out soggy.

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Like I said in the beginning, you can make the peppers a head of time and either freeze them or let the peppers sit overnight. If you decide to make this dish for company, try using different colored peppers to brighten up your presentation. The meal will be both pleasing to the eye and delicious to the tummy.

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Stuffed Peppers with Sausage

Ingredients:
4 large peppers
1 cup rice (saffron, white or brown)
1 10 oz can tomato sauce
½ lb sweet Italian sausage
½ lb hot Italian sausage
1 small onion chopped
½ cup Mexican cheese
½ cup mozzarella cheese
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp basil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Boil rice in 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt for 20 minutes uncovered. Set aside.

Remove sausage from casing and brown along with onion in a large skillet. Drain off grease and add tomato sauce and seasonings. Cook for 3 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and blend in rice. Stir in Mexican cheese. Fill each pepper with rice mixture then top with mozzarella cheese. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Place peppers on a rimmed cookie sheet.  Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let the peppers rest for a few minutes before serving.

Serve with a side salad.