Saturday, March 5, 2011

Chicken and Rice - Again?

green beans, chicken and rice
Rice, Green Beans and a Chicken Kebabs
That's usually the husband's reaction when I tell him we're having chicken and rice. So in trying to keep things fresh and interesting, I thought I'd cook the rice a little different than usual the other night. Rice can take 30 minutes to cook on the stovetop and up to 55 minutes in the steamer. (I love rice in the steamer, but who wants to wait 55 minutes on a weeknight?) I wanted to get dinner on the table in 25 to 30 minutes - tops - so I decided to try out a new technique.

I had marinated chicken all day, so that was ready for the husband to grill as soon as he got home. I threw some fresh green beans, which I was very excited to see at the grocery store last weekend, in the steamer and started the rice. I found a recipe online that had gotten rave reviews, so I thought I'd try it out. It said the rice would be ready in about 20 minutes. 

Rice on the Stove
Why is it so hard for me to learn that if it ain't broke, there's no need to try to fix it? If the husband eats it, why do I mess with it? The recipe said to heat the rice (1/2 cup) on a little oil for about a minute, then add in about 2 tablespoons of chopped onion, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. The rice was fragrant, so I thought everything was going well. Then I added a cup of water and covered the pan with the only pan I have that fits. 

After just 15 minutes all of the water was absorbed, but the rice wasn't cooked. This is where things started to go downhill. I added a little more water. And then I added a little more water. I covered the rice again and let it cook for another five minutes. I thought 20-minute rice sounded quick, but I knew rice in 15 minutes was just too good to be true. So the rice continued to cook and the green beans patiently waited. 

steamed green beans
Green Beans in the Steamer
When we sat down to dinner the husband was less than pleased with his kebabs. They took a lot longer to cook than he anticipated and simply told me, "Kebabs aren't my calling." By the time the meat cooked, the peppers and onions were a bit burned. I didn't mind, as I kinda like burned stuff - crunchy lasagna pieces, brownie corners, you get the point. And as the husband spooned the rice onto his dish he laughed and said, "You made couscous!" 

The rice absorbed the extra water I poured into the pan, and the last five minutes did help the rice cook. But it got so mushy. The rice was not the fluffy 20-minute side dish I was expecting. Honestly, the recipe was kind of a flop, so I won't tell you where I found it. It was edible, but it's definitely not something I'll be trying again. 


  1. Oh no! That kind of stuff always happens on a weeknight when you are so hungry and just want to eat a good meal. I've had MORE than my fair share of those kinds of I gotta tell ya, it actually looks pretty good in the picture though..:)

  2. I am so, so sorry that that happened. If you want my rice pilaf recipe, let me know. It's a no-fail (I promise) recipe and the only one I've ever used. I learned it from my mom, who learned it from her mother-in-law, who learned of those kinds of things.


Thanks for taking the time out of your day to show my space a little love.


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