As a blizzard descends on Boston, I am craving that kind of comfort food that speaks of childhood and home and warm things -- especially those meals that can be assembled from a decently stocked freezer and pantry. I've got tonight covered with an adaptation of my mom's classic chicken on rice recipe. What are your favorites? Share, and I'll try a few this weekend!
And in the spirit of sharing, here's the recipe for chicken on rice (one of the few things I'm addicted to that relies on things like cream of mushroom soup and dry onion soup mix!)
Momma Litchick's Chicken on Rice
Preheat oven to 350.
Take your favorite assemblage of skin-on chicken pieces (skinless works too, it's just not as tasty), sprinkle both sides with salt, pepper, and paprika, and brown them skin-side-down in a hot oven-safe pan, lightly coated with your favorite oil. When browned, remove chicken from pan, and deglaze the pan with a little chicken broth/stock -- just enough to dissolve the fond. Turn off the burner and assemble the rest of the dish.
Into the pan (which still has the small amount of deglazing liquid), pour in one cup of uncooked white rice, making an even layer. Place the chicken pieces on top of the rice (skin side up). Spoon (undiluted) cream of mushroom soup evenly around the pan, spreading some on top of the chicken pieces. (It will be gloopy.) Sprinkle the contents of one package (or one-half package, if you prefer) of Lipton's Dry Onion Soup Mix over the contents of the pan. Next, pour 2c of chicken broth/stock into the pan. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the gloopy mushroom soup bits a little. Finish with a generous sprinkle of good paprika (I like Penzey's Spanish Smoked Paprika for this) over the contents of the whole pan. For me, the more paprika the better, but do this to your taste.
Cover the pan (foil will do) and put the whole sh'bang into the over for an hour. After an hour, uncover the pan and cook for another half-hour. Then you're done!
Sometimes I like to include sauteed onions with the rice; or to include cauliflower florets, broccoli florets, or mushroom pieces nestled into the pan next to the chicken. Also, you can get away with this whole dish without browning the chicken first. I find it adds a nice layer of flavor, but it's not necessary if you're pressed for time.