So, at the moment i’m all about comfort food, bowl food and one-pan food (the original lazy wife) and this recipe ticks all the boxes for me – plus Charley can eat it too which is a bonus because frankly, making separate toddler food can get tired. This isn’t a sophisticated meal by any stretch of the imagination but it’s a great weekday option for the whole family plus its a great way to use up veggies that have been lurking in the fridge and it’s really affordable. My Mom used to make a similar pilaf when i was a kid so i think it’s the nostalgia factor that has me making it time and time again – that and the fact that it really is so moreish.
Here’s the recipe
1 tablespoon olive oil
700g boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 5cm pieces (smaller if its for toddlers or if like me, you like eating bowl food with a spoon)
Salt and pepper and a generous handful of mixed herbs
1 large red onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1/2 punnet courgettes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups wine or chicken stock
1 can diced tomatoes, with juice (i use the chopped tomatoes with herbs)
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1/4 cup pimiento-stuffed Spanish olives, chopped (optional)
1. In a large heavy based pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Saute the onion and bell pepper and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken and brown on both sides for two minutes. Add the garlic and herbs and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
3. Add the wine, tomatoes and juice, courgettes, rice, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
4. Stir in peas and cook, covered, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley.
5. Serve and enjoy!
I add paprika – at least a 1/4 – 1/2 a teaspoon. I thought it was weird that it was a Spanish recipe and there was none of it in it and to be honest, the smokiness makes it!
I also add chopped mushrooms, courgettes and carrots – mainly because i want to get as many veggies as possible into it for Charley.
I use stock instead of wine – the Woolies roast chicken stock has lovely flavour.
I squeeze lemon over each bowl before serving.
I don’t add the olives even though i love them and we always have them in the fridge – it’s just a bit much for me.
I just noticed in the pix that i forgot to add peas!! It was still delicious but don’t forget the peas, it really adds lovely colour and taste to things.