Recipe: Italian chicken with steamed broccoli and rice

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If you’re reading this, you’re a lover of tastes. You have a kitchen in Dolan Hall, the Townhouses or the Village you’re just ready to use. So, why don’t you imagine the perfect dish? Your nose picks up the fresh aroma of perfectly fluffy jasmine rice. Your eyes hone in on the healthy portion of lively, steamed green broccoli on your plate.

And your mouth says ‘yes,’ ready to taste the slightly tangy and sweet flavor of the chicken that’s moist with its natural juices and Italian dressing.

Or maybe you just want a quick and easy dinner that can be made with little ingredients. Okay then. I’ve got you covered.

Ingredients (serves four)
• 1 3/4 cups of Wishbone Italian dressing
• 4 chicken thighs or 4 chicken breasts
• 1 Herb-Ox chicken bouillon cube
• 1 1/2 cup of jasmine rice
• Water
• 2 cups of broccoli
• 2 sandwich bags

Directions
• If your chicken has fat, trim it, but if not, just wash the chicken.

• Make the marinade. A chicken bouillon cube is basically dried chicken stock in solid form. Crush the cube so that it becomes the consistency of slightly damp sand. Combine with the Italian dressing and give it a good stir.

• Put the chicken in the marinade. Slice the chicken so that the juices can seep in. When you serve the finished chicken, just hide the bottom by putting it on the rice. No one needs to know. Marinade the chicken in the sandwich bags for at least a day.

• It’s the next day. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. After, set the time to 40-45 minutes, and while the chicken is cooking, you can prepare the other ingredients.

• You can honestly use any rice for your dish, but I used jasmine rice. You have to wash the rice first. Give it a good rinse three times, so that you can prevent the rice from being sticky in the end. I used to think that my mom just wanted to distract me from causing mayhem in the kitchen, but washing the rice really does help.

• I’ve read that in order to make good rice, the rice and water need to be in a 1:2 ratio. Well, I never used cups to measure the water, because my family and I always used a rice cooker. But here’s an easy trick: Put the rice into a pot. Take a bit of water and pour it in. Have a look at your index finger. See the lines? Dip your finger in so that the tip of your finger touches the surface of the rice—not the bottom of the pot! The water needs to be filled until the line nearest to the tip of your finger. Thank Momma Le for this helpful shortcut.

• With the lid on, bring the rice and water to boiling point and then switch to medium. Stir so that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom. When there’s less water than you began with but still enough to cover the rice, put the lid on and turn the stove down to low. The trapped steam cooks the rice. Leave for 10-15 minutes. After, use a spoon and try the rice for taste. (Be careful when checking on the rice because the pot is probably burning. I always use chopsticks to lift the lid because, well, I’m Asian, but you can just use a dishtowel.) Once it’s done, fluff it up and serve.

• Last part of the dish is the broccoli, but this takes five minutes. In a separate pot, salt the water. Dump your wash broccoli into the pot and cover. This traps the steam, which softens your broccoli. I like my broccoli cooked but still crunchy to eat, but you can make it however way you want.

• Take the chicken out and cut into it to check for pinkness. The skin on top, if you like to leave the fat on, should be lightly brown. Plate the rice and broccoli. Put the chicken on top and dress with more of the Italian dressing. Enjoy.

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