May The Chicken Be Ever In Your Kitchen {chicken and yellow rice}

Mama G became known as Mama G for a reason. Essentially, she ran a soup kitchen/boarding house for the neighborhood(s) in which we lived and welcomed the latest “can we keep her?” friend that we paraded into our home on the regular.  We moved around quite a lot growing up which says something about my mom’s ability (and ours, I suppose, considering that we supplied the additional hungry mouths and sticky fingers) to befriend anyone in her path including the following: check-out ladies, gas station attendants, bank tellers, housekeepers, housewives and small children.

She was the pied piper of the neighborhood and her instrument of choice was chicken. Or spaghetti. Or cookies. Or whatever. We filed into the house and onto the benches around the kitchen table which in and of itself is a testament to the traffic in that place. We had benches so we could easily squeeze another friend’s stray little sister or neighbor’s neighbor from down the street.

This was a blessing and a curse growing up because in our home you didn’t learn to cook for two. You learned to cook for ten. So, when I first set out to cook on my own, I had a bit of trouble paring down some of the recipes to feed fewer than the Duggars. The good thing is, I generally have enough food at the ready for a small army of local do-gooders, friends and children. The bad news is none of those people happen upon us very often.

At least we like leftovers.

I suppose I could have halved the number of chicken thighs and used one bag of yellow rice in this aptly titled dish, chicken and yellow rice, but what fun would that be? You never know when a spontaneous influx of hungry mouths may show up at your door. I don’t know about you, but I plan to stuff them full of chicken.

This is a really ridiculously easy recipe. Preheat your oven to 350° and get the following:

  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 2 small bags yellow/saffron rice
  • 1 onion, diced
  • hot sauce
  • salt, pepper, water

Go ahead and prep up your business.

That means, dice up the onion, pat dry the chicken and salt and pepper it and heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat with a tablespoon or so of olive oil.

Now it’s time to brown your chicken.

Start off browning it skin-side down until it’s as golden brown as something both brown and golden.  Then flip and brown the other side for a couple minutes. Pull the chicken out of the dutch oven and set aside.

Drain most of the fat from the dutch oven and return to medium heat. Add the onions and brown for 3-4 minutes. Stirring to get up the loose bits of chicken skin (I ate that one in the picture below. Crunch.) and fond from the bottom of the pan.

Now add your two bags of yellow/saffron rice to the onions and stir to coat with onion/chickeny goodness.

Check out the back of your rice bag and note how much water you would need if you were cooking this on the stove. For this, each package called for 1 2/3 cups of water for cooking. So, since I used two packages, I dumped 3 1/3 cups of water on top of my rice (still stirring for bits) and then nestled my chickens back in the water for a delicious swim.

From here all you do is put the lid on, put the whole damn thing in the oven and set the timer for 30 – 35 minutes. Enjoy the chicken fog that has rolled in and await the final product.

Now, just line everyone up single file and dish out this tasty treat amongst the masses. Or eat it alone for the next 3 nights. Whatever you prefer. Be sure to offer Tabasco/Crystal/Louisiana Hot Sauce on the side.

In other news, my brother set up a fan page on the Facebook for this blog. I don’t know how it works or what to do with it and it is making me feel very old and nervous. Help?