Rice is great if you’re really hungry and want to eat two thousand of something.

— Mitch Hedberg, Comedian

Okay, the title of this post is a total lie. Since my husband bought us a rice cooker, we have consumed many, many grains of rice. Momentary pause to plug this rice cooker: it’s awesome. We started out with a solid dish – the taco bowl, which was deliciously wonderful. Prior to our cooker, we had been using minute rice, which is fine. It really is. I hated having to stand over a pot on the stove, willing it to cook right and not to burn. Minute rice puts a stop to all that. But this cooker allows me to walk away, completely forget about the rice and return to fluffy, warm, wonderful rice up to four hours later. I’ve been working hard on my organizing list (23/42 items complete! Yes I added a couple.), so this rice cooker’s arrival – quite literally on my doorstep – was perfectly timed.

So other than taco bowls, what have we been making with this fantastical appliance? Here are a couple chicken dishes to spice up your weeknights.

1. Chicken Marengo with White Rice and Asian Veggies

Thanks to Crunchy Creamy Sweet for this yummy dish, which I only adapted ever so slightly.

Ingredients

  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tsp minced garlic)
  • 1 can (14 oz) of diced tomatoes with basil and garlic
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Directions

  1. Mix flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish.
  2. Cut chicken in 2″ pieces. Roll in flour mixture.
  3. Heat up the oil in pan; place chicken in batches in the pan.
  4. Brown on all sides until chicken is almost cooked through. Remove to a plate and cover with foil.                                       photo 4 (12)
  5. Add more oil to the pan. Add onion.
  6. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then add minced garlic.
  7. Add wine.
  8. Stir in tomatoes, broth, and Italian seasoning.
  9. Bring to a boil.
  10. Add the chicken back in and cook for 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and sauce is thickened.                                photo 5 (10)
  11. Serve with rice and steamed Asian veggies.

photo 2 (27)

2. Honey Dijon Chicken with Cilantro Lime Rice and Spicy Garlic Veggies

So this is a three part recipe. These are great staple items, in my opinion, that can pretty much be mixed with anything for a little something different. Prep for this whole meal took less than 15 minutes, with us sitting down to eat in 35.

Honey Dijon Chicken (adapted from All Recipe Center)

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt & pepper
  • Rosemary

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Mix together mustard, honey, and vinegar.      photo 3 (25)
  3. Grease a 9×13 pan. Put salt and pepper on the bottom. photo 4 (13)
  4. Place chicken breasts into dish. Season top with additional salt and lots of pepper.
  5. Pour mustard mixture over chicken, making sure each breast is coated.  photo 5 (11)
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes.
  7. Top with chopped rosemary, if you desire.

Cilantro Lime Rice

(THANK YOU to Budget Savvy Diva for this recipe that allows me to copy Chipotle’s delicious rice!)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • If you are using a rice cooker: the amount of water you are supposed to for one cup rice
  • If you are not using a rice cooker: 2 Cups of Water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp of finely chopped cilantro (TIP: use a pizza cutter to get those leaves, not those fingers, finely chopped)
  • 3 tsp vegetable oil

Directions

  • If you have a rice cooker, put all of your ingredients into your cooker and turn the switch to “cook”. When it is finished and turns to “warm”, fluff the rice and enjoy!
  • If you do not have a rice cooker: mix 2 tbsp vegetable oil, cilantro, and lime juice in a small bowl. Next, combine rice, water, salt, and 1 tbsp vegetable oil into a saucepan and cook. When the rice is finished, combine with your lime mixture and enjoy!

 Spicy Garlic Mixed Veggies (adapted from Martha Stewart)

Ingredients

  • Bag of frozen, steamable broccoli (or any veggie mix…although I’d recommend broccoli be in there)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/2 tsp minced)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1.5 tsp vinegar

Directions

  1. Steam veggies according to directions on bag.
  2. Combine in a skillet with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Let heat for about 4-5 minutes
  3. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar

photo (23)

Rest assured that there will be plenty of other rice dishes in our home. I’ll be sure to pass some more on to you. Congratulations! Cue the throwing of rice.

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