Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chicken, Veggies & Rice: The Old Standby

Contrary to what previous posts may lead you to believe, we don't have fancy dinners every single night. We both enjoy being in the kitchen (though Ryan has been sporting the chef hat most of the time lately), creating new dishes and checking out interesting recipes. But sometimes we need to just throw something together.

One of our go-to meals is roasted chicken with veggies and steamed rice. It might sound a bit boring, but even our old standby is delicious. Here's what we do:

Chicken: Throw two (or however many) skin-on, bone-in breasts onto a sheet pan (you can use boneless skinless if you really want, but the bone keeps the meat juicy and the skin...oh, the skin is problematic delicious...when it comes out of the oven crispy and golden, calling for a nibble. Mmmm...I digress). Rub with olive oil (a tablespoon or so), squeeze half a lemon over them, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper (really, liberally is the key here--it's amazing what an aggressive toss of S&P will do for plain old chicken). Roast at 400 for about 20 minutes (or until the skin is crispy...mmmmm).

Veggies: After checking our fridge inventory and pulling out whatever hasn't started growing things, the veggies get similar treatment to the chicken. We usually have carrots, some sort of squash, onions, and maybe some cherry tomatoes or asparagus. We cut them up into big, rustic pieces (except for the tomatoes) and then toss them with olive oil. Add some salt and pepper, lemon juice (from the other half of the lemon) and maybe some crushed garlic. Roast at 400 for about 10-15 minutes (this really depends on how "well done" you like your vegetables...I prefer mine to still have some crunch; Ryan prefers them to be a bit more cooked...up to you). Finish with some grated parmesan if you have some.  

Rice: If the other two-thirds of this meal weren't so yummy, I could eat the rice all by itself. I love it. One of our favorites is this Brown Rice Medley from Trader Joe's (which they don't have in Texas so we get it "imported" from our California hook-ups). If we run out of the good stuff, we use some sort of brown rice (not instant, although I'm sure you could if you wanted to save time). 
What really makes the rice, though, is one of our kitchen staples: McCormick's Chicken Base. It's like a boullion paste that you just add to water and--voila!--dull rice to delish! You can get it at CostCo for cheap and we use it all the time. 

So there you have it! The Old Standby...pretty quick, quite satisfying, and one of our favorites.

Happy Searching!

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