I’m back too, and, my excuse was that I had a baby and I was lucky to get dinner on the table never mind write about it. But we’re settled in and I’m in on the rice theme. I made this for a pot luck dinner tonight. I wanted something quick that didn’t require a long cook because it’s too hot out for that. Oh, and it had to be gluten free.
My ” inspiration” was the package of feta that’s been sitting in my fridge since my last trip to Trader Joe’s and the thin sliced chicken breasts on sale.
For the chicken you’ll need:
- juice and zest of one lemon
- 1/3 c. olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. chopped, fresh parsley
- coarsely ground black pepper to taste
- 2 lbs chicken breast, pounded or sliced thin
For the rice, you’ll need:
- 3/4 cup rice (I used a wild rice blend)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 lb. spinach or one big bunch
- juice from half a lemon
- 4-5 oz. feta cheese
Mix the lemon juice and zest, olive oil, parsley and garlic in a container you can marinate in. Pepper the chicken, toss in the marinade and let sit for about an hour.
While chicken is marinating, cook the rice. Set aside in a serving bowl.
Heat oil in a skillet and add the chicken (pour extra marinade into the pan). Cook for about 5 minutes; flip. Cook until both sides are slightly browned and chicken is cooked through. I did this in two batches.
Remove chicken to a plate. Add a little more olive oil to the skillet. Add spinach to the pan and cook until wilted. Put the spinach in the bowl with the rice. Pour the pan juices and any juices that have accumulated on the chicken plate in with the rice and spinach. Add the additional lemon juice and feta. Mix it all together.
Serve the chicken over the rice.
We ate this warm, but I think it will be good cold too—I’ll let you know.
You could make a vegetarian version of this that would probably be tasty, but I think the garlicy chickeny flavor really added a lot to the rice.
Wow, we are a couple of blog slackers. I don’t know what Sara’s excuse is, but I’ve been in a major cooking rut for quite some time. Cooking for 2 kids and no other adults just got depressing. But…good news! My other half got a new job and is home for dinner at least 4 nights a week now, which has breathed new life into my menu planning.
This week I tried a new recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Simple Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin. Scratch that. This is THE favorite cookbook in my house. Every single recipe is easy to prepare and full of flavor. There is seriously not one thing we’ve tried that we weren’t happy with. The recipe I made this week was Rice and Leek Gratin. It takes a little advance planning because you need to have 2-3 cups of cooked rice on hand, but is also a great way to use leftover rice. I did made a few modifications to the recipe and would make a few more if I made it again, which I’m sure I will because everyone loved it. One note, you could easily add any other veggies to this. I felt like the leeks alone would be a bit blah so I threw in some mushrooms, and I could picture many other additions–carrots, broccoli, etc–depending on what’s in your garden or market.
1 cup rice uncooked
2 1/2 cups stock or water (I used veg stock)
2-3 leeks, cleaned, trimmed and thinly sliced.
1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded gruyere or other swiss cheese (I used jarlsberg because I’m cheap!)
1/4 cup breadcrumbs mixed with 1 tsp olive oil
Cook the rice. I like to toast mine in a teeny bit of butter before adding the stock.
Saute the leeks in a bit of olive oil until tender. Add any other veggies you’re using. Stir in the thyme and let mixture cool down to room temp.
Mix the veggies in with the rice. Stir in the milk, egg, and some salt and pepper. Stir in the shredded cheese. Press rice mixture into a 2 quart casserole. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top. Bake at 375 for about 30 mintutes, until the breadcrumbs are toasted.