Grandma’s Chicken and Rice

22 Nov

Back when DH and I were dating (when the dinosaurs roamed, for those keeping score at home), we had dinner with his parents about every other week or so. And their family’s favorite dish was this chicken and rice.

It’s easy to see why–it’s warm and comforting and not overpowering, and it’s pretty simple to make. It reheats very nicely (doesn’t freeze well–don’t try it), and everyone in my house will eat it, giving them all a good dose of veggies minus the fussing. My mother-in-law got the recipe from her mother-in-law, and I’m not sure how much farther it goes back from there.

Several years ago, it was our turn to host their big family Christmas party. I asked everyone in the family to send me their favorite recipes, and compiled them into a sort of cookbook. This is what my mother-in-law sent, and I’m very glad for it. It’s become part of our regular repertoire, and the tradition lives on.

I have changed a few things here. The original recipe called for far less chicken broth. Mine never came out, so I’ve added more. I highly recommend starting with half the chicken broth, and adding more as the rice cooks until you get the consistency you want. Your stove, pot, and humidity that day will all come into play.

The original recipe called for handling the garlic differently as well. I like my garlic a bit stronger, so use more on the chicken. I also sweat the veggies before adding any liquid, which I suspect my mother-in-law did, but didn’t write down. And finally, I use boneless chicken breasts instead of bone-in. We just like them more.

This calls for saffron. It’s very expensive. You just need a pinch, and I find it pretty reasonably at Trader Joe’s. But feel free to omit it. The recipe is different, but just as good that way.

There’s something lovely about preparing a recipe for your family that you or your spouse/partner grew up with. I’d love to hear about yours–leave them in the comments.

To make my mother-in-law’s chicken and rice, you’ll need:

1 – 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 garlic clove, chopped

1/2 sweet onion, chopped finely

1 green or red bell pepper, diced

1 14.5 oz can chopped tomatoes (I use the kind that’s pre-seasoned with garlic, oregano, and basil)

1 15-oz can tomato sauce

1 32-oz box of chicken broth

2 1/2 cups converted white rice

1 pinch saffron threads

garlic powder




In a shallow baking dish, salt and pepper the chicken breasts and sprinkle them with garlic powder. Let them sit about 10 minutes, and then bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (you’re not cooking them through). Remove from oven.

In a large soup pot, saute onion, pepper, and garlic clove until they start to soften. Add tomatoes and tomato sauce, and simmer about 20 minutes. Add half of the chicken broth.

Add chicken to the sauce mixture and simmer another 10 minutes. Stir in rice. Cook, adding chicken broth as necessary, about half an hour, or until most of the liquid is absorbed (it’ll thicken as it cools). Stir in saffron for last few minutes of cooking. Let sit a few minutes, and serve.

Makes 6-8 servings





2 Responses to “Grandma’s Chicken and Rice”

  1. geena November 24, 2010 at 8:19 pm #

    made this tonight for dinner and it was delicious! And it smelled amazing while it was cooking too!

  2. Kim November 24, 2010 at 8:37 pm #

    Thanks for posting, Geena. I’m really glad you liked it. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: