Spanish Rice with Seared Chicken

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The weather today in Louisiana was supposed to be something crazy that has not happened in like 3 years.  There were supposed to be widespread tornado outbreaks, baseball size hail, and gusts of wind up to 80 miles an hour.  They showed a map of our area the last time a weather event like this happened, and it showed like 30 tornadoes, and reported hail with every other one.  Needless to say, I was freaking out.  The first time I moved here I was witness to a storm that produced a tornado right down the road from me. I spent 40 minutes in a bathtub with my 8 month old and two barking shelties that could not help but pee themselves on the bathroom floor from fright.  I thought about peeing myself too.  The house was shaking, it sounded like a train was going down the street, and all I kept thinking was, “Why did I leave North Carolina?”  So when the weatherman was calling for an even worse day then that, you can bet I was doing anything and everything to keep myself entertained….i.e. I created a recipe and went to town cooking.  In the end, the storm was over and thankfully Baton Rouge was pretty much missed.

So here is the recipe that helped me get through that storm and thankfully it turned out great!  Nothing better then having the weather not get as bad as you thought, and you end it all with a great meal to calm your nerves.

Gluten Free friends, remember when you purchase rice to make sure you are checking the labels.  Most of them will state in the ingredients portion of the label whether the rice has been made in an environment that is gluten free, or is possible to have been contaminated because it was produced in a factory that also produces wheat products on the same machine.  Not everyone will be affected by this, but most people with Celiac’s disease will.  So be really careful what brand you buy.  Again, a lot of the time the store brand or off brand will not be gluten free.  They usually cut costs for their products by stream lining and they do not care to have two sets of equipment for their products so that there is no cross contamination.  There are exceptions, but the best way to be sure is to check online quickly or read the back of the label.  Lastly, remember to always avoid flavored rice mixes like rice pilaf, Uncle Ben’s seasoned rice, Knorr rice sides, etc.  All these rice options have gluten agents in them that act as a thickener or a flavor enhancer.

Some common rice brands that are gluten free include:

Mahatma Rice – click Mahatma Rice and check their rice chart to see if your selected rice is gluten free

Lundberg Rice – Just check the outside of the package and it will clearly label if the Rice is gluten free.

Minute Rice – click Minute Rice and check and see if your selected item is gluten free

I hope these suggestions and sites help.  Also, with this recipe you need to be careful of the canned tomatoes with chili’s that you buy.  Not all are gluten free again.  I used Red Gold tomatoes with chili’s and they are gluten free.  On there website below in the frequently asked questions section they state:

Red Gold Tomato Products

Q.  Are Red Gold Products gluten-free?

A.  Yes, all of our Red Gold tomato products are GLUTEN FREE!

So you can rest easy and enjoy cooking up this totally gluten free dish 🙂  Let me know what you think!!

Spanish Rice and Seared Chicken

Ingredients

2-3 Chicken Breasts
1 1/2 cups Jasmine Rice
2 1/2 cups Chicken Broth
1 Onion finely chopped
2-3 Cloves of Garlic minced
1/2 Red Pepper diced
1 14.5 oz can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilis (Red Gold Brand)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2-3 TBSP Olive Oil
1 Bay leaf
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Green Olives
Cilantro

1. Place a shallow saute pan with cover on medium heat. Add olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
2. Take your chicken breasts and lightly salt them as well as lightly sprinkle garlic powder and onion powder on them on both sides.
3. Add the chicken to the hot oil, make sure to use a splatter screen to protect yourself from the oil. The chicken needs to brown on both sides. About 5 minutes per side.
4. Remove the chicken and set aside
5. Lower the heat on the pan, and add the diced onion and bell pepper to the pan. Let that cook for a little bit and add a little bit of olive oil if needed. You will also need to scrape the pan a little bit to get all the good chicken bits into the veggies. Cook the veggies for 5 minutes.
6. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes and then add the rice and mix to combine. Let the rice cook for a couple minutes and then add the 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Mix to combine well.
7. Add canned tomatoes with chili’s and the broth and stir. Add the bay leaf and then bring the mixture to a boil. Once the mixture comes to a boil stir one last time to make sure the rice is not sticking to the bottom of the pan and then cover and turn the mixture to low.
8. Let the rice mixture cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until the rice is no longer crunchy and water is absorbed. Half way through the timing for the rice, pick up the lid and stir the rice once quickly and then add the chicken breast back to the pan to finish cooking for the last 10 minutes.
9. Once the liquid is absorbed and the chicken is done it is time to plate. I garnish the meal with a couple of green olives with pimentos inside and chopped up cilantro. Hope you like it!!

 

 

 

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