Meal Deal: 2 for 1

In going with yesterday’s ‘can I cook instead of going out to the restaurant’ tip, I’m sharing this first recipe. It’s my easy chicken and rice. It was a request from a 9-year-old who’d rather put her new Magic 8 Ball in a blender than go out to a restaurant.

Oh, and, the grocery bill was $24. That was for the chicken (2 pkg’s, 1 for now, 1 for later), rice, celery, carrots, 2 containers of ice cream (BOGO, for dessert), 2 red bell peppers (on-sale, for another day), a bottle of ranch dressing (for another day) and a 6-pack of beer (for another day, kinda). Taking 2 adults and 2 kids to a restaurant would’ve gone far beyond $24 – just sayin’. This dish also got the approval of a 5-year-old. There’s now a crack in the floor where I fainted from an overload of joy.

Katy’s Easy Chicken & Rice (serves 4-6)

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into thirds lengthwise
  • 32 oz carton of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 cloves garlic, 3 minced – 1 left whole
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 2 whole fresh sage leaves
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tbs corn starch
  • salt & pepper
  1. In a large pot, combine celery, carrots and butter. Mix to get butter melted, then add a pinch of s&p.
  2. Once the vegetables begin to soften (after about 5 minutes) add the minced garlic and stir.
  3. When you can smell the garlic, add the garlic powder and thyme leaves, stir.
  4. Lay the chicken pieces on top of the mixture, then cover with broth. It should take about 1/2 to 3/4 of the broth.
  5. On top of the chicken add the sage leaves and the bay leaves.
  6. Bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer for about 40 minutes.
  7. In the meantime, make the rice by putting the remaining garlic clove in 4 cups of water and bringing it all to a boil. Add the rice, then cover and cook on low for 20 minutes.
  8. When there’s about 7 minutes of rice cooking time left, remove the chicken from the other pot and shred it using two forks.
  9. Then, in a small dish combine 4 tbs of chicken broth and the cornstarch. It should make a milky looking mixture.
  10. Remove the sage and bay leaves from the broth and vegetable mixture and then bring it to a boil. Then, pour in the cornstarch mix by whisking it. It should thicken pretty quickly. Then return the pot to low and put the shredded chicken in it. Mix.
  11. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Be sure to taste it. If it needs more salt, add a pinch. Remember, we used low sodium broth, so it may need a pick-me-up.
  12. When the rice is done remove the garlic clove and then spoon it into individual bowls. Top each serving with a generous scoop of the chicken mixture.
  13. Enjoy!

Ok, here’s the 2 in this ‘2 for 1’ blog reading. This is a recipe I submitted for a contest requiring the use of chile peppers.    It didn’t win, but it got good reviews here at home.

Cornbread Stuffed Chile Rellenos with Chile Peach Sauce (serves 4-6)


    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    2. While the oven preheats, remove the tops and seeds from the peppers and stand them up in a cupcake tin.
    3. Spread the chicken tenders on a baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray, sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Repeat seasoning/spray on other side.
    4. Put peppers and tenders in the oven.
    5. In a large bowl, combine corn muffin mix, egg, milk, cheese, onion, honey and cumin.
    6. After ten minutes, remove the peppers. Flip the tenders and let them continue to bake for 10 more minutes.
    7. Fill peppers with corn bread mix, almost to the top. Any remaining batter can be put into empty cupcake holes that have been sprayed with cooking spray.
    8. Return peppers to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Filling will puff out of peppers.
    9. In a food processor, blend peaches, Sriracha, a pinch of salt and a pinch of garlic powder.
    10. Put peach sauce in a pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
    11. Cut chicken tenders into chunks. Split among plates, along with diced tomatoes.
    12. Put one stuffed pepper atop the chicken and tomato mixture. Drizzle with chile peach sauce and salsa verde. Serve!

Tip: Plant an herb garden. Or, if you don’t have the space outside, put a few pots on the kitchen counter. Grow basil, rosemary and oregano at the very least. I have 3 rosemary plants in various places outside. I want reinforcements if one dies – I could keep a sprig of rosemary behind my ear every day, I love it so much. The thyme in the first recipe above, by the way, came from my herb garden. If you buy fresh herbs at the grocery store you’ll end up mortgaging the house just to afford enough for a recipe.

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