RECIPE #354, DAY #533
ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Cheesy Broccoli-Stuffed Chicken with Tomato Rice” from December 2016’s Food Network Recipe*
TIMING: 30 minutes (more for brown rice)
TOOLS: A nice large sauce pan
COOK TYPE: Stovetop
HEALTH: I believe in rice, even if it is white (and as long as it isn’t instant). You could, however, make this dish with brown rice. There’s not much else to it except for the vitamins imparted by a little tomato.
EXPERIENCE: This recipe accompanied the stuffed chicken breasts I was dying to try, so I went along. In the end, I actually preferred this recipe over the chicken. It was easy, well received, and reminded me of the Mexican flavor of Rice A Roni I ate as a child.
I do think that this is one of those instances where the tomatoes still taste “tinny” by the time you serve it. You could avoid that by using fresh, skinned and de-seeded tomatoes and pureeing them, but then it wouldn’t come together as crazily easy and fast. This is, after all, a harried weeknight supper. It ain’t fancy food.
NOTES: For a recipe like this, I would use a Basmati or California/Texas Basmati-like rice (or even a similar Indian rice). For a brown rice, you would need to add 1/2 cup more liquid and more time, and I would go with a small grain.
I think that adding a little richness would really help this dish. If you started with 1 tablespoon olive oil mixed with 1 tablespoon butter, that should do it.
- In a large sauce pan, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 minced shallot and cook until translucent. Add 1 cup white rice and stir to toast just a bit.
- Stir in 8 ounces tomato sauce and 2 cups water. Bring to boil, then reduce to a low simmer and cover. Cook about 20 minutes, until rice has absorbed the liquid and is tender.
- Taste for salt and pepper and sprinkle with minced whatever-herb-goes-with-dinner, such as parsley or cilantro.
Serve with weeknight meat (baked chicken breasts, for example) and a vegetable (like stovetop peas).
*Recipe changed from the original.