October is practically here and it feels like fall in Chicago. Fall in the Midwest is breath-taking; the colors on the trees are gorgeous and the chill in the air always makes me want to hole up in my cozy home. The reality is, though, two of my kids play travel soccer, two other kids play park district soccer, two kids take piano lessons, one takes guitar lessons, one is trying out for travel basketball, one is in yearbook club, two others are in chess club, and baby Michael’s lack of speaking means I have to add weekly speech therapy as well. Nevermind my own schedule. But I am still adamant about making a home cooked meal for breakfast and dinner most days of the week.
In order to do that, I have to plan ahead and choose meals that aren’t fussy. I love slow roasting, slow cooking and braising for easy home-cooked deliciousness. This Chicken and Rice dish screams comfort food…but it is incredibly easy and requires very little labor time at all. I love to saute the veggies when the kids get home from school (5 minutes) and then let the oven do the rest of the work. Feel free to use whatever veggies you want in the saute mixture…butternut squash, carrots, celery and zucchini are my favorites. I also use whatever rice I have on hand, Basmati, Brown, etc. This dish also makes an excellent leftover meal the next night.
ALLERGY FRIENDLY CHICKEN AND RICE
1 3-4 lb. package chicken, cut up into legs, quarters, breast, etc.
1 T. olive oil
1 T. dairy free margarine
3 peeled carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1/2 small butternut squash, diced
1 large garlic clove. minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 tsp. celery seed
1 3/4 c. rice (I like basmati or brown)
1 1/2 c. organic chicken broth
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil and dairy free margarine until hot. Add vegetables and garlic, and season generously with salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes and stir in dried thyme and celery seed. Stir in rice and lightly toast for 1-2 minutes. Turn off burner and place chicken pieces on top of rice and vegetables. Place dutch oven uncovered in oven and bake 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and add chicken broth. Put cover on top of chicken and bake 40-45 additional minutes or until chicken is done.