Introduction: Italian Chicken and Rice Bake
You Just got home from a long day at work.
You need to get dinner started.
You can rattle off a laundry list of foods you don't want but you still are not sure what you want ...
How about Succulent oven baked chicken thighs marinated in Italian dressing. Served over a bed of pillowy flavor infused rice, tender carrot slices, and al dente peas.
Now that I have your attention, let me tell you how it is done.
Step 1: Ingredients
This recipe will serve 5 -10 people depending on portion size and how much leftovers you want for tomorrow's lunches
1 bag frozen peas (leave these in the freezer for now, we will come back to them later)
6 or 7 good sized carrots (about a pound)
16 oz bottle of Italian dressing
Family pack of chicken thighs (this was 10 thighs .. just shy of 5 lbs)
3 cups of white rice
Spices ( I used salt, pepper, and paprika to season the chicken)
Step 2: Optional Tools
These are kitchen gadget you don't need to make this dish, but they make it easier if you have them.
Mandolin slicer - To make uniform carrot slices quickly. One of my favorite kitchen gadgets, I look for excuses to use this slicer.
Speed marinader - By using vacuum pressure you can marinade meat in twenty minutes instead of several hours.
In twenty minutes the chicken has absorbed about 1/2 cup of the marinade.
Step 3: Food Prep
Now that you have the meat marinading, It is time to prep the rest of the food.
I know this is a long list but we can get through it with teamwork. Ready?
Peel and cut your carrots at a mild angle to get nice oval slices.
Combine the carrots and rice in the baking dish.
PHEW! OK gang .. great work .. everyone take 5.
Step 4: Baking
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
Place the marinaded chicken on top of the rice and carrots.
Add about 1 cup of the Italian dressing to the rice, then add 5 cups of water to make up the 6 cups of liquid that the 3 cups of rice will absorb while cooking.
Season the chicken to taste. This time i used salt, pepper, and paprika.
Some of the chicken sat above the edge of the baking dish, so I used a few toothpicks to keep the aluminum foil up off of the meat when I covered the dish.
Cover and bake for 70 minutes.
I uncovered the dish and baked it for another 10 minutes to brown the chicken slightly.
Step 5: Getting Ready to Plate
Once you have the dish done to your liking, take the chicken out of the baking dish and set it to the side.
Go to the freezer and get that bag of peas you though that I forgot.
Sprinkle the peas over the rice and carrots and fold them in. The heat from the rice and carrots will thaw and cook the peas while letting them retain their firmness.
At this point you can put the chicken back into the baking dish and bring it to the table, or you can plate out individual servings.
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