This one-pot chicken and rice delivers a lot of comfort, and a little kick – The Denver Post

One of the reasons chicken and rice is such a world-class dish is because it can take on so many flavors, making it a signature of so many cuisines. I know I’ve edited at least a few dozen such recipes for The Washington Post and made twice that many in my own kitcheneering. Even when they’re not so great, they’re still okay, I reckon. It’s chicken and rice, people!

This particular one did not originate in the southwest corner of Louisiana or come from French-Spanish descendants of New Orleans. Rather, it builds on a blend of dried spices and herbs that so often appear in Cajun cooking: paprika, cayenne, oregano, granulated garlic, onion. But it pours on the milk, too, which gives the rice a risotto kind of creaminess and mellows the dish in general. The seasoned pieces of chicken are browned in the pot first, just long enough to pick up color, and then they are returned to infuse the rice-vegetable mixture with their own goodness.

Humble comfort food can fit the bill, even when folks are attempting to fry eggs on the sidewalk. So eat this chicken and rice while it is warm, straight from the pot, and know that its flavor will hold up as cold leftovers, as well.

One-Pot Cajun Chicken and Rice

35 minutes

4 to 6 servings

When you are craving a little comfort food, even in warm weather, this will fit the bill.

Leftovers taste great cold.

Make Ahead: You will need to stir in more broth or water for reheating leftovers on the stove top, as this risotto-like mixture thickens quite a bit once chilled.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 medium celery ribs
  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1 /2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons Cajun or Creole seasoning blend (see NOTE)
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups regular or low-fat milk (2 percent)
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water, or more as needed
  • 4 scallions

Steps

Cut the onion, celery and green bell pepper into chunks (discarding the pepper’s seed core), then transfer to a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Mince the garlic. Cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces, discarding any visible fat.