Create easy chicken and rice meals for any occasion using basic pantry items and boxed or packaged helpers. Keep on hand plain brown rice, as well as boxed rice products that contains herb and seasoning packets, and stock your pantry with a variety of canned goods, and dry soup and seasoning mixes. Buy chicken in large, money-saving packages when it is on sale, and immediately wash and freeze extra meat for later use.
Bake a simple, taste-of-home chicken and rice dish beginning with a layer of uncooked brown rice in the bottom of a baking dish. Choose from your favorite condensed cream soups, such as broccoli, chicken, celery or mushroom, and stir in enough milk to provide the liquid ratio for the amount of rice you used. Pour the liquid over the rice so it is covered, and place chicken pieces on top. Use any cuts of chicken, but if it was frozen, make sure it has thawed completely. Season the easy way with a package of dry onion or mushroom soup mix sprinkled over the top, or use a liberal dusting of paprika. Cover the dish with aluminum foil during baking to retain the moisture the rice needs to cook. Green beans and a mixed fruit salad will make this meal a hit.
To make a pilaf, cook rice in seasoned broth or another flavored liquid. Combine vegetables and chicken with the cooked rice to make a one-dish meal. Use leftover cooked chicken or cook boneless chicken and rice together in a large pan using canned broth or dry soup mix and water. When the rice is nearly done, add frozen peas and carrots to the pan and let them cook as the rice finishes. Round out the meal with a spinach salad accented with pecans and mandarin orange segments and topped with a light creamy dressing.
For a special occasion meal that looks like you spent hours in the kitchen, pound boneless chicken breasts until the meat is evenly flat. To prevent splattering when you pound the meat, place the chicken one piece at a time in a plastic bag and pound it through the bag. Cook a box of seasoned wild rice and spread it over a flattened chicken piece, then roll the chicken up and place it in a baking dish to bake. Prepare extra rice to serve on a platter with the rolled cutlets, and serve the chicken and rice with a steamed vegetable blend such as broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. Make a naturally sweet apple and raisin salad for a finishing touch.
Grilled and Spicy
Grilled chicken with Tex-Mex seasonings is a tasty main dish with spicy rice and beans on the side. Dust boneless chicken breasts with dry taco seasoning before grilling them, and sprinkle a little lime juice on the meat as it cooks. Stir the unused taco seasoning into the pan of rice, along with a can of spicy red beans and a can of tomatoes with chilies. If you can't use a grill, prepare the seasoned chicken in a skillet with a touch of olive oil. Serve the spicy chicken and rice wrapped in tortillas or in taco shells topped with cheese shreds. Try a cool papaya and citrus salad with this dish.
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