One Pot Chicken and Rice
"A favorite around here is one-pot chicken & rice. I start with a whole fryer and poach it to make homemade stock (unbelievably flavorful, and cheaper than just the breasts), but you could just as easily (ok, more easily) fry the cut-up cutlets in a pot til partially done, then toss in rice & canned chicken broth, stir, and cook til the rice is done. I throw in peas halfway through the cooking time and fresh parsley at the end. Sliced mushrooms make a nice addition, too (cook with the chicken from the beginning). I usually just season it with seasoned salt, but you can get as adventurous with the flavors as you like."
1. Depending how big your pot is, you might want to cut up the fryer, separating the wings & legs from the rest of it.
2. Melt the butter on medium-high, at some point before it burns adding the onion. Let sizzle for a while. Feel free to add the wings, neck, etc. if you want here, to brown them up. Go ahead and add in the carrot & celery, too. Don't add the legs & breastmeat yet (you don't want them to get overcooked). Stir, letting everything get nice and brown. This is where a lot of the flavor comes from.
3. When the mix getting brown, add the legs and brown them a little. When they're brown, add the breastmeat, if separate.
4. Toss in a few cups of water and whatever herbs/spices you want. You can add salt now, but I find it easier to salt it later, when I have a better idea how much it needs (remember, some of the water will evaporate). The water doesn't actually have to cover the meat; in fact, if you keep the breastmeat above the water line, it'll keep it from getting overcooked. Turn the heat to medium-low and let cook for a while, maybe a half hour. The meat doesn't actually have to be done cooking, since it's going to get heated up with the rice anyway.
5. Turn the heat off and take the legs & breast out. Put them on a plate to cool. You're going to shred these with a fork, knife, and/or your fingers. While you're doing that, turn the heat up on the pot again and let it keep boiling the yumminess out of the bones.
6. At this point, you have a pile of shredded, cooked meat and a pot of homemade chicken stock avec bones. Fish the bones, veggies, & herbs out of the pot (or strain into a bowl) and gauge how much stock you've got. I'm going to guess you'll have around 2 cups. Go ahead and add some water to make 2 cups if you were an efficient boiler.
the shortcut starts here... If you are taking the
shortcut and don't already have a pile of shredded, cooked chicken in
front of you, fry up some chicken in a pan til it's about half-cooked,
then add two cups of chicken stock. If you're taking the yummy scenic
route, leave your chicken in the fresh air for a little while longer.
7. Toss 1.5 cups of rice into the pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and turn the heat down. Cook for 10 min, then add in any veggies you want to use (peas, mushrooms, whatever). If you took the scenic route, now is the time to add in your shredded chicken. You'll also want to generously salt the whole thing (I like seasoned salt) and add any other spices you like. (The amount is completely up to you; I think I add maybe a teaspoon of salt? But I eye-ball it, so it's hard to say. Remember you can always add more later, but it's impossible to make it less salty if you overdo it.) Stir it all up, re-cover the pot, and cook for another 20 minutes til the rice is done.
8. If you like, sprinkle on a few tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley and mix 'em in. This is one of the few dishes I make that are mildly spiced enough where the parsley really adds a nice flavor.