CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Mediterranean Chicken, Mushrooms And Rice

If you are in search of a healthy and nutritious wholemeal pasta recipe, you can stop looking. Mediterranean Chicken, Mushroom and Rice meets meets both the aforementioned requirements — it’s loaded with vitamins and low-fat ingredients as well as being an entree that can stand alone as a main course.

Combining this dish with a nice salad and vegetable such as winter squash is the perfect meal for a cold, winter night, which we have had quite a few of the past month or so. And as often is the case with leftovers, a second-day helping of this rice dish certainly rivals the first if not surpassing it.

But perhaps the biggest takeaways from this recipe are the facts that it is a one-pan meal that can be on the table in less than an hour. That’s a huge plus for people who are working, and it sure beats picking up fast food that is not nearly as tasty or nutritious.

Mediterranean Chicken, Mushrooms and Rice
1¼ pounds chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
⅓ cup flour (can substitute gluten-free)
½ teaspoon salt
3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 cup tomato puree
2½ cups chicken stock, homemade or organic
1 cup white rice (preferably arborio or garnaroli)
2 to 3 teaspoons sea or Kosher salt
Black pepper, freshly ground
Place flour and ½ teaspoon salt in a rimmed plate, and dredge the chicken pieces well.
Put 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat, then add the chicken pieces.
After about 3 minutes, turn the chicken and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes or until the chicken just begins to brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
In the same pan, add 1 or 2 more tablespoons of olive oil along with the onion and red pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Push the veggies to one side of the pan and add the mushrooms to the other side.
Saute the mushrooms for a few minutes, adding more oil if necessary, then mix everything together and continue to cook for a few more minutes. Add a teaspoon of salt and stir well. Add the tomato puree and stir well.
Next add the stock, another teaspoon of salt, some black pepper and rice. Bring to a boil, stir well, then lower the heat to a simmer and add the reserved chicken. Stir and cover. Stir frequently. If the rice sticks or becomes too dry, add a little water.
After about 25 minutes, taste the dish and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately.

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