Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner
One dish dinners were the way to go and one of my favorites was chicken and rice. Okay, so I am guilty of being a little snobby about recipes that start with a can of soup. But I loved that casserole and so came up with an alternative that has a little more sophisticated flavor but still satisfies the comfort food zone.
There's a song lyric Farmer Paul and I sang to our sons when they were young, "Chicken is nice with palm butter and rice." It's a fun song, one of those catchy tunes kids like and laugh at. There's no butter in my recipe. I tend to substitute olive oil every chance I get. I'm willing to bet folk singer Dave Van Ronk would have enjoyed this casserole just the same!
CHICKEN & RICE
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
Salt and pepper
1 small onion, grated
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 can chicken broth
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup half and half
1 cup raw, medium or long grain, white rice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil using a large oven proof sauté pan on stovetop burner set to medium high heat. Season the chicken pieces all over with salt and pepper. Lightly brown the chicken pieces. Remove chicken pieces and set aside in a bowl. Chicken should not be cooked through, only browned.
In the same sauté pan add another tablespoon of olive oil, lower the heat to medium, add the onion, and cook about 3 minutes. Add wine to the pan to deglaze the pan, scraping off the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Let wine cook down a bit, then add the chicken stock, and remove from heat. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt, the cream, and the sour cream. Add the poultry seasoning, paprika and raw rice to the pan. Stir the rice mixture so that ingredients are evenly distributed.
Place the chicken pieces on top of the rice mixture (in a single layer if you can, they will be crowded). Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Bake in a 375°F oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil. If the casserole is still too liquidy, let it cook a few minutes more, uncovered until enough liquid has been absorbed to have the appearance of rice in a creamy sauce topped with tender chicken. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serves 4.