Chicken & Rice with Pie on the Side

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So, yesterday was Wednesday… and I was aiming for wheatless. One day off. Sorry! Does it count that I just put a gluten-free pumpkin pie in the oven? Back to yesterday… I made my Smothered Chicken recipe using rice instead of stuffing. This is my original recipe:

Smothered Chicken and Stuffing

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp. lemon pepper
  • 1 box stuffing mix, chicken flavor
  • 1 ½ cups hot water
  • 4 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • ¼ cup skim milk
  • ¼ cup swiss cheese, shredded  or parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 ½ tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. garlic
  • 1 can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
  1. Cut chicken breasts in half and sprinkle with lemon pepper.
  2. Cook chicken breasts on microwave safe plate for 10 minutes at 80% or until juices run clear and center is no longer pink.
  3. Meanwhile, mix stuffing mix with hot water in bottom of microwave safe 11×7” dish or 9” deep dish glass pie plate.  Cut up margarine into chunks and spread over stuffing.
  4. Stir sour cream and milk together in small bowl. Stir in swiss cheese, mozzarella cheese, basil, and garlic.
  5. When chicken is cooked, place on top of stuffing mixture.  Spoon sour cream mixture evenly over chicken pieces. 
  6. Divide mushrooms evenly over chicken.
  7. Cook uncovered 5 minutes on high in microwave.

With the good intention of making it gluten-free, I used a box of Rice a Roni (which, coincidentally, isn’t gluten-free) and tried to streamline a bit by par-cooking the rice, adding the chicken (not cooked), and finishing it. The chicken released a lot of juice and made the rice soupy. It tasted good, but runny rice… not what I was going for. I used more chicken than usual, which didn’t help. By the end of the meal, though, the rice had absorbed all the remaining liquid. So, here’s what I would do to really make it gluten-free and non-runny, and I challenge someone to make it this way and see what happens 🙂 :

Cook the chicken as directed in the recipe above. Set aside. Mix the following in shallow baking dish that fits in microwave:

  • 1 cup of rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 2 tsp. parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt  

Cover and cook on high for 15-20 minutes or until rice is almost tender and liquid is almost all absorbed. While rice is cooking, mix sour cream, milk, cheeses, basil, and garlic (as above)*. When rice is cooked, uncover; add chicken. Spread cheese mixture over chicken. Spread mushrooms over sauce. Cook uncovered on high for 5 more minutes. Serve.

Serves 2-3.

*For the record, I mixed the sour cream, milk, basil, and garlic; spread that over the chicken; added the mushrooms; and then topped with cheese. It works either way.

So, there you have it. And if anyone in the Chicago area is free tonight, Christopher Kimball is in town! Join him to celebrate 20 years of Cook’s Illustrated magazine and the publication of  The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook.

TIME: 7:00 pm
PLACE: Unity Temple at Oak Park
875 Lake Street
Oak Park, IL
PHONE: 708-386-9800

Tickets are $10, and can be redeemed for $10 off the price of the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook on the night of the event.

I would love to go, but I will be working hard at choir rehearsal; I promised them pie tonight. If someone wants to go in my stead and fill me in on the fun, that would be awesome! I’d love to know what Chris is like in person. If you’d rather eat pie, you’re welcome to join us for choir rehearsal at 6:45. Cranberry apple and pumpkin pie for your singing efforts!

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