Ohhhhh! Talk about comfort food at it’s best! This has to be one of my very favorite dinners to make and eat!
Tender chunks of chicken coupled with brown rice-absolutely covered in a delicious, hot and creamy sauce that is made with homemade chicken stock and cream.
Oh, yes. It. is. good!
I fix this quite often because we ALL love it! (James, my almost-3-year-old will usually eat about three servings!)
There are just 4 main steps to preparing this dish: Making the Stock/Cooking the Chicken, Making the Rice, Making the Sauce, and then Putting it all together.
Here are the ingredients you will need:
Chicken and Stock:
- 2 split chicken breasts (2 1/2- 3 lbs) (NOT boneless, skinless. You want the bone-in, skin-on chicken. It has much more flavor and will give you a more tender finished product)
- 1 Onion
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 2 Carrots
- 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tsp. Pepper
- Bay Leaf
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 3 Tbs. butter
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 of an onion
- 1/4 cup (heaping) flour
- 3 cups homemade chicken stock
- 1 cup half and half (or heavy cream)
So- let’s go:
**NOTE: Get “Step 2: Rice” started when you are about half-way through cooking the chicken
Step 1: Chicken/Chicken Stock
- Chicken: Rinse off your chicken. Place in a large, deep pot- like a stock pot.
- Carrots: Peel the carrots. Chop off both ends. Cut in half. Add to pot
- Celery: I like to take the whole bunch of celery- rinse it off, and then chop off the whole top- cutting right below where the celery leaves stop. There is a lot of flavor in the celery leaves, and I don’t use them for anything else. So, this is a great use for them. Add to pot.
- Onion: Peel onion. Cut in half, Add to pot.
- Garlic: Cut off both ends of the clove. Smash it with the flat side of your knife to loosen the peel. Peel it. Add to pot.
- Bay leaves: Add to pot
- Sprinkle with 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper
- Water: Add water so that it covers all the chicken & vegetables, and then some- about 11-12 cups. (my pot is usually 3/4 full)
Now, keep your pot uncovered, turn up to high heat to get it to a boil.
Watch it- Once boiling, the contents will rise really fast and overflow if you are not careful. So, once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat to medium-high so that it maintains a steady boil.
You can place a lid on top- but allow it to remain cracked open
Keep an eye on the water level. If it looks like the chicken and vegetables are not remaining fully covered, add more water. You want plenty of liquid.
It should take the chicken about 45 minutes to be cooked. Try not to poke at it. You don’t want to lose the good juices that will keep it moist. You also do not want to overcook it, which will make it tough. I suggest checking it at 45 minutes and then add time as needed.
After 45 minutes- take one of the pieces of chicken out of the pot and lay it on a cutting board. Gently pull some of the chicken away from the bone. Do you still see some pink? If so- back in the pot it goes. If you do not see pink, and all the juices run clear, the chicken is done.
OK- now, once the chicken is cooked, turn off the heat. Place chicken on a cutting board. Using a fork, remove the skin. (it should slide right off). Now, pull the meat away from the bone and chop up.
Set the chopped up chicken aside in a bowl until you are ready to use it.
Strain the stock through a colander into a bowl to catch all the vegetables. You can discard the cooked veggies or add them to your compost!
And now you have chicken stock! Hooray! Good job!
Just set it aside until you are ready to use it. Any stock you do not use in this recipe, you can freeze. I freeze mine in 2-3 cup portions so I have homemade chicken stock ready for recipes.
Step 2: Making the Rice
While the chicken is cooking- get the rice in the oven.
I use and recommend Baked Brown Rice (you can see my full post here)
Boil the 2 1/2 cups water.
Pour rice in a greased 8in dish.
Dot with 3 Tbs. butter, cut into chunks
Pour boiling water over the rice.
Cover tightly with foil and bake @ 375 for 1 hour.
Step 3: Making the Sauce
On medium-high heat, Melt 1/4 cup butter in a saute pan.
Finely dice up 1/2 of a small onion and add to the melted butter. Allow these to cook for a few minutes.
Pour in a heaping 1/4 cup of flour and mix into the butter/onion until fully incorporated. (you just made a roux!)
Measure 3 cups of your chicken stock and add it 1 cup at a time to the roux- stirring with a whisk in between each addition to break up the flour mixture.
Continue to whisk until the sauce thickens a little.
Add 1 cup of half and half.
Stir a little more until it thickens again.
Sprinkle in a little more salt- about 1/2- 1 tsp.
Stir in the chicken.
Stir in 3 cups of rice.
Now just allow it to simmer- stirring occasionally until the sauce reaches your desired consistency. (just a few minutes) It should all be bubbly.
And you are done!!
I usually either serve this by itself, or with a green vegetable or carrots or some applesauce.
**My husband and I like to give our servings’ a little sprinkle of cayenne pepper, for some heat