Aromatic Chicken & Rice

 

Chicken & Rice (with Lovage or maybe Celery)

This is celery-scented comfort in a casserole.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

for the chicken:

  • 6 skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

for the rice:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 2 3/4 cups hot chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 (loose cup) chopped lovage or baby celery leaves
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice

garnish--extra celery or lovage leaves

    Instructions
     

    • Preheat oven to 350.
    • In a bowl, combine the olive oil and spices. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, to taste, and then coat with the spice mixture. Set aside.
    • Place all of the rice ingredients in a 9x13 inch baking pan (I used Pyrex) and carefully stir to evenly distribute all ingredients.
    • Top with a single layer of thighs. Sprinkle with remaining leaves if desired.
    • Bake for 30 minutes then remove from the oven and cover in foil. Raise the temperature to 375 and bake 15 minutes or until the chicken and rice are cooked through and tender.
    • Serve immediately.

    Notes

    Really rub the spices in the chicken! Feel free to use more as needed. 
     
    Keyword weeknight meals

    I’ve been getting a CSA from Real Food Farm for months. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster. While I haven’t had the issue that I’ve heard people have with other CSAs where they get pounds and pounds of kale one week and nothing else, I’ve been getting a variety but not very much of any one food. For example, a single tomato or bell pepper in a bag with five baby potatoes and an onion during the absolute height of our growing season. I’ve had to continue buying a lot of produce from the store so I can actually make a meal out of any of it.

    My pick-up is Thursday and on Wednesday night we get an email telling us what to expect. Strangely it’s often wrong. This past week I didn’t get the promised beets, onions, potatoes, or jalapeños in my bag but I did get what seems to be a large bunch of celery leaves or possibly lovage. I emailed them asking what it was but they didn’t reply.

    So, we made this dinner using either a massive amount of lovage (a celery scented herb and the source of the  “celery seed” you buy in the spice aisle) or a bunch of the thinnest celery stalks and largest amount of celery leaves I’ve ever seen. Hence the title of “aromatic chicken and rice”. I am sure either lovage or young celery would work. Even mature celery if you slice it thinly and toss in the leaves.

    It is incredibly easy to make and redolent of celery, which I love. You don’t even have to sauté the onions, garlic, or lovage/celery; it just cooks all in one pan. Of course, if you want to sauté them first, you can but in the interest of making this a weeknight meal, I didn’t. My energy for making dinner has plummeted some 19 months in. We’re making it but between dinner fatigue and working on a massive baking project, I have to admit it isn’t always exciting.

    This did turn out really well though which is why I am sharing it. It’s a casserole but it’s very light. The garlic and celery (or lovage?) are just a lovely combination; it’s homey and comforting. It makes a ton as well which fits into my cook once try and eat twice trend. For the leftovers, I suggest heating them up fried rice style. You really can add more flavors to it (and egg!) to make it seem like a different dish when you have to again.

    Note: If they ever respond to my email I will update this recipe and let you know if I used lovage or celery. I truly haven’t had lovage enough to know. I should have taken a picture, the leaves were huge but the stalks were tiny. I thought it was flat-leaf parsley at first but it absolutely reeked of celery when I opened the bag.

     

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