Thursday, September 01, 2005

Parmesan Chicken and Rice

This is a simple, easy, one-dish meal - great for those busy nights during the week. I was afraid that it would be the kind of dish that looked good, but tasted bland. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it had quite a bit of flavor - a homey, comfort-food feel to it. Using a high-quality Parmesan Reggiano is important in a simple dish like this. I have included my notes at the end on how I changed the cooking method in this dish.

Source: Cooking Light, June 2004

Rice and broth are added to sautéed chicken, onion, garlic, and mushrooms for a simple entrée that requires only one pan.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic (I use fresh)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces (see notes below)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup uncooked instant rice (see notes below)
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, thyme, and mushrooms; sauté 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add chicken; sauté 4 minutes or until the chicken is lightly browned. Add wine, salt, and pepper; cook 3 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates.

Stir in rice and broth. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in cheese and parsley. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)

NUTRITION PER SERVINGCALORIES 395(18% from fat); FAT 8g (sat 2.8g,mono 3.7g,poly 0.8g); PROTEIN 29.9g; CHOLESTEROL 57mg; CALCIUM 171mg; SODIUM 656mg; FIBER 2g; IRON 4.1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 44.4g

Tamar Haspel Cooking Light, JUNE 2004

My notes: I don't like the way chicken breasts dry out when I make soups or one-dish meals like this one, so I always try to cook the chicken breasts separately. For this dish left the chicken breasts intact and cooked them for about 6 mintues on each side; removing them from the pan and then cutting into bite-sized pieces and setting aside.

After the chicken was done, I followed the directions for cooking the rice, only I used brown rice. Another advantage to cooking it this way is that by cooking the rice without the chicken in the pan, you are free to use grains, like brown rice, that take longer to cook without turning your chicken into a dry, tasteless hunk of meat.

Once your grains are finished cooking, just add the cheese, parsley and chicken and heat until warmed through. Still and easy, one-dish meal, but without the dried-out chicken.

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