Grandmaw Peacock’s Chicken & Rice

I can’t tell you whether this chicken & rice recipe freezes well because whenever I’ve made it, there’s usually only enough leftover for one person to have a portion for lunch the next day.  This recipe is a staple at my house – and probably Hannah’s, too – for several reasons.  First, it’s dead easy; second, you don’t have to really chop anything, so prep and cleanup are minimal; third, the ingredients are all pantry and fridge staples; and fourth, if you’re like me and keep chicken breasts (and sometimes thighs) in your freezer, you’ve got yourself the makings of a very easy, extremely delicious meal.

I’d had Scott Peacock’s The Gift of Southern Cooking for a few years before I tried his grandmother’s recipe shortly after my daughter was born.  In my tired, busy, run-down state, it was revelatory.  It was so, so good and laughably easy, and while it takes a little time on the stove, it’s a snap even for the most sleep-deprived among us.  Best of all, everyone in my house loved it, even my then-preschooler, who was entering a very picky phase.

The recipe calls for a whole, cut up chicken, and I’ve used that before, but in a mostly I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs, and to compensate for the flavor that I won’t be getting from the skin and bones from the chicken, I substitute chicken stock instead of water.  For true ease of freezing, I am in love with the Coleman Organic chicken breasts and thighs that come in Cryovac packages that Costco sells (Ah, Costco.  Have I posted anything yet that doesn’t mention Costco?)

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Everything you need: the recipe, a pot, rice, chicken stock, salt, handy frozen chicken packs (here, it’s 2 large breasts and about 4 thighs), an onion, and a celery stalk, plus a few extra celery leaves.  The only prep work is peeling the onion and cutting it in half.

Watch the amount of salt that you add – the broth really should be on the salty side, but if you’re using commercial stock, you should be sure to taste before you add more.  Also, I highly recommend using a creamy short-grain rice, like Arborio.  The dish is perfectly fine with regular long-grain rice, but it’s sublime with short-grain rice.

This serves 4 to 6 people – we generally feed two adults, two children, and have some leftover for lunch the next day.  Serve with something green – pole beans, a salad – and you’re good to go.

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3 Responses to Grandmaw Peacock’s Chicken & Rice

  1. hannahspector says:

    I do love it best w/skin on, bone-in chicken thighs- I think it gets more flavor and the fat makes the rice more pudding-y.

  2. Marj says:

    I’ve made this twice since you wrote the post and what I love most is that it helps our farm share chickens (which might be like the one Grandmaw raised) be tender not tough. My current cooking challenge is how to get dinner on the table within 20-30 minutes after I get home (we have early to bed kids) so I make this the night before and it’s great for lazy after dinner cooking–just put it on, stir occasionally, etc while I’m doing evening chores or relaxing.

  3. hannahspector says:

    So, you know, I made this once with basmati and it was very good. And then made it with short-grain sushi rice and it was AMAZING and I never looked back and thought it was the perfect rice dish.

    Then I finally made it with arborio, and do not know what I was thinking- it is even better with arborio.

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