Nov 20 2008
This is a very traditional, easy, tasty dish that I’ve been eating since I was just a little kid. It’s so easy and traditional that most of you are probably going “Chicken and Rice? Does anyone NOT know how to make that?” OK, this post is not for you, then. It’s for the poor person out there who knows diddly-poo about cooking and is desperately looking for some hard-to-ruin recipes. Dear Desperate Person: this post is for you.
The recipe is found once again in my trusty church cookbook, and there’s not much to it. One nice thing about this is that it is pretty easy to substitute healthier ingredients, if you’re a health-conscious kind of person.
You will need:
- 1 package of chicken. I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts – my local grocery sells them 3-4 in a pack. My mother and grandmother both use a selection of bone-in, skin-on pieces. It’s a matter of personal preference.
- 2 cans cream of chicken soup. I use the store brand. You can sub in the low-sodium version.
- 1 package dry onion soup mix. Again, I use the store brand.
- 3/4 cup dry, uncooked, long-grained white rice.
The recipe says to lightly grease a 13×9 casserole dish, but I don’t like using one that big, since I never make this using a whole chicken, which is what the recipe calls for. Consequently, if I use a 13×9, the chicken pieces in my dish never get fully submerged and some of the outsides get dry. I like to use one of my dutch ovens, but mine are ceramic coated. I’m not sure how it would work in regular cast iron – I imagine it would be fine as long as the iron is seasoned properly. A smaller casserole would work as well.
Anyway, get your vessel of choice, lightly grease it up with shortening, and arrange the chicken in it. Because I use such a (comparatively) small vessel, my chicken is all crammed together on the bottom. This is fine – you just probably don’t want the pieces stacked on top of each other.
In a medium bowl, combine the cream of chicken soup, two soup cans of water, the onion soup, and the rice. Mix together. Now, here’s another step added that my recipe book doesn’t have: one you have all this stuff mixed, let it sit in its bowl for about 30 minutes. I never used to do this, and my rice would end up all crunchy and not as good as I remembered. I asked my Grandma, and she told me to let the mix sit so the rice would soak up some liquid. I did, and the next time it was perfect! This is also a good time to turn on your oven and preheat it to 350°F (176°C), and get your chicken out of the fridge so it can lose some of its “just out of the refrigerator” chill.
Once you’ve let your mix sit, pour it over the chicken. Place the uncovered dish in the oven and cook for about two hours.
That’s it! You have your main dish and a side dish all in one pan. Serve and enjoy. Stores very well, and the leftovers heat up nicely.