I need dinner tonight to be easy. Super easy.
It’s been a week; you know what I’m talking about. Two nighttime events for work. One nighttime event for school. After-school play rehearsals for one child; early morning training workouts for the other. Add in carpool, homework times two and a full work week, and Friday-night dinner has to come together quickly and easily and be delicious and filling.
Anything with rice qualifies as comfort food in my book, and if you start the rice a few minutes before the chicken, everything will come together perfectly when the chicken and vegetables are finished cooking. We like spicy, so I add quite a bit of Cajun seasoning. However, you can adjust the amount for your family’s tastes. I also prefer to use broth instead of water, as it just deepens the flavor.
Cajun Chicken and Rice
1 cup uncooked rice
2 cups water or chicken broth
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Tbs Cajun or Creole seasoning
2 Tbs olive oil
4 cups diced onions and bell peppers
1 (10 oz) can Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Louisiana Hot Sauce, for serving
Combine rice and water (or broth) in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 14 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside, leaving the cover alone. (This is always the mistake I make with rice. Don’t. Touch. The. Lid.)
Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, and season with a Cajun or Creole seasoning like Tony Chachere’s. Add half of the olive oil to a large pot and set heat to medium-high. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken without overcrowding the pan. Brown on one side, about 2 to 3 minutes, and then brown on the other side. Remove chicken to a plate to rest.
Add the remaining olive oil to the pan; increase heat to high. When the oil is hot, add the onions, bell peppers and more seasoning; sauté until the vegetables become soft and browned.
Add the tomatoes, and then add the chicken back in, along with any juices that may have collected on the plate. Add the cooked rice and stir until well-combined. Add the cheese if desired and stir well to combine.
Serve with Louisiana Hot Sauce.
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 610, Calories from Fat: 227, Fat: 25.3 g (9.4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 131 mg, Sodium: 495 mg, Potassium: 662 mg, Carbohydrates: 48.3 g, Fiber: 3.4 g, Sugar: 6.3 g, Protein: 44.8 g.
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