I had a bad day at work the other week and came home tired and grumpy and looking forward to a nice easy to cook and quick meal. I had gotten the chicken out of the freezer to make this easy Italian chicken and rice recipe. It said easy in the title and the cook time was only 20 minutes. I had read the intro to the recipe and the ingredients but not the recipe itself.
As I started cooking and following the recipe I could feel myself getting grumpier and grumpier. The recipe required 3 pots, including the rice which means it isn’t easy to me and the cook time given wasn’t possible for me with my lack of coordination in having different elements cooking at the same time. In my defence, the part of the recipe that takes the longest time to cook is the tomato – particularly if you use the potato masher bit and I think that should probably be step 2 after getting water on for the rice.
Luckily the end result was pretty tasty and as I started to eat, I could feel myself relaxing. Given how good the flavours were I thought there had to be a way to make a pared back version that would still give a similar result but with less washing up and possibly reduce cooking time. This is my adapted version. The cooking time I have given is more than the original recipe but is less than the original recipe took for me with my lack of coordination. I have also add some dried chilli flakes to give the dish a bit more of a kick – I couldn’t find chipotle chilli powder and probably wouldn’t have bought them anyway as I already have way too many spices. It can be hard using spices quickly enough when cooking for one.
This is definitely comfort food rather than a fancy dish. It is perfect for those nights when there is a chill in the air. Not 100% sure it is that Italian but hey lets take some liberties!
- 1/3 cup of basmati rice (or really any kind you like. I use basmati as it has a lower glyceamic index and I hate brown rice)
- 1/2 tbs of olive oil
- 1/4 of a brown onion chopped
- 1 tsp of minced garlic (equivalent to 1 clove)
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 2 tbs of chicken stock (broth)
- 1/2 a red capsicum (red bell pepper)
- 130g of boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut in to 1 inch cubes
- 1/4 tsp of cumin
- 1/4 tsp of chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp of dried chilli flakes
- 1 tbs of parmesan cheese, grated
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook rice according to instructions
- Heat olive oil in a large fry pan (skillet) over a medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add onion and garlic and cook until the onions become translucent and start to soften - about 5 minutes. I find if I have the pan too hot, the onions will start to fry if I am not careful so keep an eye on things. Though it is not a disaster if you get fried onions - just a slightly different flavour.
- Add the tomatoes, chicken stock and capsicum to the pan and cook for about 15 minutes until the tomatoes are very soft.
- Add the chicken, cumin, chilli powder, chilli flakes to the pan and cook for about 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
- Stir in the rice and parmesan cheese and warm everything through.
You could probably reduce the cook time by using canned tomatoes or pureed tomatoes.