Tuesday, December 4, 2007

New Twist on Chicken and Rice

Like Camille's Frittata Recipe posted recently, this is another great clean out your fridge recipe to have on hand. A new twist on your ordinary chicken and rice, this recipe adds chicken stock, fresh squeezed lemon juice and canned artichokes as the key flavor ingredients. It also calls for onions, red bell pepper, and graded Romano Cheese, but I like to dump in whatever veggies I have in the fridge at the time. All varieties of peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, yellow summer squash and celery work particularly well in this recipe.

I have also enjoyed experimenting with different sharp cheeses in place of the Romano. Last night I used up the rest of the Gruyere I had leftover from the Swiss Baked Potatoes I made a few weeks ago. Irish Dubliner Cheese is also one of my favorites in this recipe. Parmesan and Parmigiano-Reggiano obviously are good candidates as well. I would even be willing to try this with a sharp cheddar if it was all I had on hand but it wouldn't be my first choice. Additionally, I usually add way more cheese than the recipe actually calls for (about a 1/2 cup to 1 cup depending on the cheese) making this a not-so-light Cooking Light Recipe. Rather than sprinkling the cheese on top as suggested, I like to add it to the pot at the end of the cooking while it is still warm and stir it all together so that the flavor mixes and melts throughout the entire dish and binds everything together. Of course, you could always do this and still add extra sprinkles on top as you can never have too much cheese!

This meal preps in about five minutes, cooks in fifteen and only dirties one pot. It's not going to win any awards based on visual appearance so I maybe wouldn't serve it for guests, but it's a great weeknight go to and keeps well as easy lunch-time leftovers. I give it a total of four out of five stars (or four out of five wooden spoons if you are going by Camille's rating system.)

Lemon Chicken and Rice with Artichokes


Cooking spray
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch strips
2 1/4 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 cups instant rice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese


Heat a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add chicken, chopped onion, and red bell pepper; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in rice, lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper, and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in artichokes, and cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with cheese.


4 servings (serving size: 2 cups)

Nutritional Information

CALORIES 324(8% from fat); FAT 2.8g (sat 1g,mono 0.7g,poly 0.5g); PROTEIN 35g; CHOLESTEROL 69mg; CALCIUM 120mg; SODIUM 773mg; FIBER 8.3g; IRON 3.1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 40.7g

Cooking Light, JANUARY 2004

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