By Kelly Bogard
I haven’t always been a good cook. It has taken me years to get this far. When my husband and I first got married, we lived in a tiny apartment in Nacogdoches, Texas. I was finishing my degree, and he was working to keep us fed. I had recipes that my mom and grandmothers had passed down to me, but I was scared to try any new recipes where I wasn’t sure of the results.
You see, it was my job to go to school and take care of the house. This meant making sure my new hubby had a hot meal every night, because we were way too poor to order out. One of my first experiments turned into what I call Skillet Chicken and Rice. It was similar to the traditional chicken and rice my mother made, but it was the perfect amount for two people, and it took 30 minutes to prepare.
For Skillet Chicken and Rice, you will need…
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
2 cups instant rice
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic salt
pepper to taste
That first year taught me a lot. I think sometimes we forget how the little things can mean so much. We would sit down to supper and talk about our days. Now we don’t seem to find as much time for that as our schedules are so busy. Making this recipe brought all of that back, even if for one night.
First things first, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Once warm, add the cubed chicken. Let the chicken cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat, then add in the onion and mushrooms.
Waiting to put the veggies in with the chicken will keep them from getting soggy but will still allow their flavors to mix in with the chicken. The chicken and vegetables will need to cook for another 10-15 minutes. Make sure to stir them so they cook evenly and don’t stick to the bottom of your pan.
While you are waiting on the chicken to finish cooking, combine the chicken stock and soup.
Now that the chicken is cooked through, add the soup mixture to the skillet. Do not drain the liquid already in the pan as it adds flavor. Stir well and bring to a boil.
Now that you have a boiling sauce, add in the rice and stir it in really well. Make sure all of the rice is covered in the sauce. Turn down the heat, and let simmer for about 10 minutes, covered. You might remove the lid and stir once during this time just to make sure nothing is sticking.
After 10 minutes, remove from the heat and let sit covered for 5 more minutes.
Making this recipe brought back so many memories, and it reminded me that we have to make time for family, no matter how busy our schedules get. Things have changed quite a bit in 13 years, but one thing is still the same; I have always loved to cook and especially love taking care of my family. Make supper a family affair—no tv, no phones, just talk.
From all of us at Texas Table Top, enjoy!
Recipe: Skillet Chicken and Rice
Summary: A homemade classic in half the time
- 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups instant rice
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. garlic salt
- pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add cubed chicken and cook for five minutes.
- Add chopped onions and sliced mushrooms to chicken while cooking.
- Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking and continue until cooked through.
- Mix together chicken stock and mushroom soup.
- Add mixture to cooked chicken and vegetables.
- Bring to a boil, then add rice. Stir well to cover all of the rice.
- Reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes while covered.
- Stir once while simmering to make sure nothing sticks to the skillet.
- Remove from heat and let sit covered for five minutes.
Cooking time (duration): 30 minutes
Number of servings (yield): 4