When I think of comfort food this dish comes to mind immediately. We got together with friends for dinner the other night. I asked my husband and my girlfriend what I should make. My husband said make “chicken and rice”. My friends’ response… “chicken and rice”. They said it wasn’t a dish they ate often and they love it. I told them I would put the recipe on my blog. One thing he suggested though, and we were cracking up (because we feel the same way) was to explain when you get towards the bottom of the pot, not to be scared to scrape and eat the rice that is burned and stuck to the bottom. LOL
We love this dish with olives so optional as you will see below is not a choice.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Boneless/Skinless Chicken Thighs (about 16 pieces)
4 cups long-grain white rice (I used Jasmine rice for this recipe)
6 cups water (for less wet rice use 5 cups of water)
4 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 large Spanish onion, diced
1 red pepper (core, discard seeds and chop)
1 cubanelle pepper (core, discard seeds and chop)
1 cup green colossal or pimento olives, pitted and quartered (Optional). Note: For this recipe I used colossal, pitted olives I found in the olive bar section of my supermarket.
4 ounces tomato paste
8 cloves of roasted garlic, chopped (see below)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon kosher salt (more or less to taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Additional salt and pepper to slightly season chicken
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Clean and cut excess fat from chicken. This is a fattier cut of chicken so you won’t be able to cut it all out. Lightly season the chicken with salt and black pepper and set aside.
Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a 6 to 8 quart oven-safe pot or dutch oven and brown the chicken on both sides. Brown chicken in batches and do not overcrowd pot or the chicken will not brown. Remove chicken from pot and set aside.
Saute onions and peppers on medium-high heat until soft. Stir occasionally.
Stir in tomato paste then the water. Return all chicken to pot.
Add rice, olives, roasted garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, cilantro, remaining tablespoon of oil and bay leaves. Stir to combine ingredients.
Over medium-high heat, bring to boil. Continue to cook until the water level reaches the rice. In the meantime,preheat oven to 375° F.
Once the water has evaporated to the rice level transfer pot to oven for the remaining 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes covered.
Note: You can finish this dish on the stove if you choose not to use your oven, simply set heat to low and cook for 30 minutes. Turn off flame and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
You can prepare the roasted garlic while you are cooking your chicken and rice. Or if you want to save some time, you can probably find it at the olive bar at your local supermarket. You can also make this on a separate occasion and spread it on some Italian bread. Yummy! Better than butter!
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 35-40 minutes
1 head of garlic
Preheat oven at 400° F. Remove outer skin from a head of garlic. You will leave the skin on the individual cloves of garlic. Cut just enough off the top to expose the garlic (about 1/4″). Place garlic head in middle of aluminum foil. Drizzle with a little olive and loosely wrap the garlic up. Place on small baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once garlic is cool you can squeeze the garlic at the uncut base to remove garlic from skin.
Note: If you buy garlic at the supermarket that is already whole and peeled, simply bake the amount you need in the same manner.