I decided to actually cook a “real” dinner tonight… which, I’m sad to say, is not situation normal during the week at my house. Destin works second shift and I’m on my own for dinner during the week, I don’t usually expend the effort… especially since I hate doing dishes! And, since this isn’t on Destin’s list of favorite meals, I don’t worry about him missing out – and I get to enjoy the leftovers in my lunch!
This recipe is my Grandma’s, and even though it’s definitely not low fat, low carb, or low calorie, it’s also terribly delicious. I think it’s probably about 400 million calories, but completely worth it every now and then! My mom also refers to it as “life-saving chicken”, as this meal was the turning point when my Grandpa was incredibly sick fifteen years ago and had hardly been eating enough to keep a bird alive – and then he had second helpings of this meal.
A word of the (now) wise, though… always check the cooking time for a meal before making it on a whim. Dinner’s going to be a late one tonight – I was halfway through making it when I remembered that this meal bakes for an hour and a half!
Glorified Chicken & Rice
1 cup uncooked rice
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 Cup chopped green pepper (about half of a bell pepper, depending on the size of your pepper)
1/2 Cup celery (roughly two stalks celery)
1 jar (2 oz.) pimiento, drained & chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups water
Chicken thighs (anywhere between 4 and 8 – if they fit in the pan, they’ll work!)
Parsley or chopped chives for garnish
1. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan. Pour uncooked rice in pan. Add envelope of onion soup and stir to combine.
2. Melt butter in a small frying pan. Add green pepper & celery and saute until limp.
3. Spoon green pepper & celery evenly over rice. Add chopped pimiento evenly over rice.
4. Combine chicken soup & water, stirring to mix well. I find a whisk in a mixing bowl helps get the lumps blended in. Pour 3/4 of the mixture over the rice. Place chicken pieces over rice, skin-side up.
5. Pour remaining soup mixture over top of chicken and sprinkle chicken with paprika. Bake uncovered in a preheated 350-degree oven for 1 1/2 hours. Garnish with parsley or chives.
The rice ends up incredibly moist and full of flavor. To pack up as leftovers, I remove the skin and bone out the cooled chicken thighs, and portion the chicken and rice into microwave-safe containers. With the chicken pulled apart, it heats far more evenly and at much closer to the same rate as the rice, so it can easily be reheated in the same container.
We’ll have to see how well it works next time – since I had half of a bell pepper leftover, I chopped it up, and bagged it with half a cup of chopped celery in the freezer – the same with the other half of my jar of chopped pimento, as the store I stopped at tonight only had 4 ounce jars. Hopefully I remember it’s there!