The Mom’s BEST Chicken & Rice
This recipe solves a problem I have been dealing with for years! I am so relieved to have a ((yummy)) solution to this struggle, but based on how very easy the solution is — I can’t believe it took me this long to figure it out.
I bet you have been doing this all along – but for some reason, it just never occurred to me. Wondering what “IT” is??
Well – “it” is using my favorite “No-Peek” cooking method with chicken. I have been using this “low and slow” cooking method with beans and beef for years – and wow does it save the day every.single.time I pull that pot out of the oven. Even with all the twists on beans and beef ((curry, Italian, Davy Crocket, Cajun, Mexican)), I never thought to try no-peek chicken.
But, thanks to being tired of dealing with a brick of frozen chicken and no time to let it thaw, I now have a whole new category of recipes to test. The key to the perfect no-peek chicken is to use frozen boneless skinless thighs. As they cook in the oven over 6-8 hours, the thighs will remain tender and juicy while adding a TON of flavor to the broth.
For this recipe, I used a mix of fresh veggies ::
- red onion
- red bell pepper
- lemon zest
- sliced mushrooms
In addition to the veggies, I used Zinfandel, water and cream for the cooking liquid. If I would have stopped the list of ingredients here, I would have had a delicious chicken soup. But the simple addition of cornstarch caused the cooking liquids to thicken into the most perfect gravy while cooking away.
Simply sauté the bell pepper, onion and garlic in some canola before adding the rest of the ingredients to your 7-9 qt. pot. Once the veggies have softened, pour in you cooking liquids and 2 cups of water. Season with salt & pepper and whisk to incorporate the cornstarch.
Add remaining veggies and the frozen chicken, cover and cook at 275° for 6-8 hours.
Halfway through the cooking time, remove the chicken from the oven, stir and return it back. This will allow the flavors to distribute evenly.
Once cooking is complete, the chicken thighs will be so tender that they will just fall apart. And that liquid, so rich and savory and thickened to perfection. All that’s left is to add a little more salt and pepper to taste and serve over some perfectly cooked white rice.
So delicious and homey but still so very easy to make and clean up – that’s is my definition of comfort food at its VERY best!
- 4 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs (raw & frozen)
- ½ c cream
- ½ c Zinfandel
- 2 c water
- 5 T cornstarch
- 2 T canola oil
- ½ c red onion, diced
- ½ c red bell pepper, diced
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- ½ c fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 c fresh button mushrooms, sliced
- 2 T lemon zest (zest of one lemon)
- kosher salt
- 3 c white rice, prepared according to package directions
- Preheat oven 275°. In a 7 to 9 qt. heavy, lidded pot, sauté onion, bell pepper and garlic in oil over a medium flame for 3-5 minutes. Add cream, water, wine and cornstarch, whisking to combine. Add 1½ t kosher salt and ½ t pepper, chicken, parsley, mushrooms & lemon zest. Stir to combine, cover and place in the preheated oven for 4 to 5 hours.
- After 4 to 5 hours of cooking, remove the chicken from the oven, stir, cover and return to the oven for the remainder of the cooking time.
- Once cooking time is complete, shred the chicken, season to taste and serve over prepared white rice.
- Serves 8