The Recipes

One-Skillet Chicken and Rice

One-Skillet Chicken and Rice

This dish is reminiscent of a paella, the wonderful rice dish cooked in a flat, shallow pan.  Well, we're all about making things work, right?  I have an iron skillet but no paella pan... no sweat. No mortar and pestle?  No problem.  I put the spices in a plastic bag and banged the living daylights out of them with the bottom of a pan.  Improvise!  Sometimes with limited space and limited tools, it can be very disheartening - you just don't feel like the Food Netowrk version of self that you want to, but trust me, you can always find a way!

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Ingredients:

- 1 T. blended oil
- 1 chicken leg quarter, skin removed
- 1/4 small onion, diced
- 1/4 bell pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeno, diced, seeds and ribs removed
- 2 sundried tomatoes, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
- 1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
- 1 T. paprika
- 1/4 c. brown rice
- 1 c. stock or water
- handful of parsley, torn
- 1 lemon, juiced
- pepper
- salt

In a cast iron skillet, heat the oil.  Season the chicken with pepper and lay it in the pan.  Cook it for 3-4 minutes per side to achieve a brown crust.  Remove the chicken and set aside.

Add the onion, bell pepper and jalapeno to the skillet.  Season lightly with salt and let them sweat for 4-5 minutes.  Meanwhile, toast the coriander and cumin in a dry skillet for just a minute or two - until they become fragrant.  Transfer to a mortar and pestle if you have one, or in my case, a plastic bag.  Grind until slightly broken down but not to powder state.

By now, the vegetables should be soft.  Add the garlic and sun dried tomatoes.  Stir to combine for a minute, then add all of the spices and the tomato paste to the pan, taking care that they are all in the oil.  The oil will let the spices bloom.  Stir to combine, then add the rice.  Stir to coat all of the rice with oil, allowing it to toast for a minute or two.

Add the liquid to the pan, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan (called the fond if you want to be fancy).  Slide the chicken back into the pan, partially cover, and let it simmer for 40 minutes.

Make sure all of the liquid is completely absorbed, as this is how you get that crunchy bottom to the dish.  Garnish the dish with the parsley and lemon juice and take it straight to the table.  One pot, easy cleaning!  Love, love.