I have never understood how my brain works. I suppose most people feel that way, right? How, for instance, does it make any sense that I misplace car keys, important papers, etc. on a regular bases. And yet, if someone asks for a specific recipe, I can zero in on it in a matter of seconds. Shelves jam packed with cookbooks, mountains of recipe binders and hundreds upon hundreds of recipes on my laptop/Pinterest, etc. All these are the “haystack.” A single recipe is the “needle.” How I can find that needle just about every time makes no sense, but there you have it.
The recipe I share with you today is based on an old one that popped into my brain earlier in the week while planning meals for the week. I remembered a silly easy chicken and rice skillet meal that I used to make a while back (like I’m talking at least twelve years ago). My radar recipe brain led me to my very ancient and old-school recipe box where, yes, I found the original recipe.
I will warn you, this recipe contains condensed soup AND instant cook rice. If that’s a deal killer for you, then feel free to immediately jump ship.
For those of you still with me. Seriously, this recipe has basically four ingredients and I pinky promise will be on your table in about 20 minutes. I am also serious that the rice is very reminiscent of risotto, the broccoli and chicken are so moist and tender. Last night I kicked it up a bit and tried out a new Savory Spice blend (Nantucket Rosemary & Citrus Seasoning) on the chickie and sprinkled some of my garden fresh parsley over the top.
Oh my, there was much rejoicing around the dinner table. I think my son actually went for thirds, and I will admit to sneaking a second spoonful of rice.
And the ironic end to the tale. I had a container with a little bit of leftovers all ready for me to take to work today.
I forgot it. Go figure.
Twenty Minute Skillet Chicken with Creamy Rice and Broccoli
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt & coarsely ground pepper
Any poultry-friendly seasoning blend
1 TBS olive oil
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 can ( 10 ¾ oz.) condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1 ⅔ cup water
¼ tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. salt
1 ½ cups quick cook rice (such as Minute Rice)
Additional salt and pepper
Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt, then the broccoli. Cook for about one minute. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Set aside.
Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt, pepper, and seasoning blend (if using).
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken in pan and brown for about 5 minutes, or until golden. Turn and continue cooking about 5 -8 minutes longer until golden and cooked through. Remove to a plate.
Add soup, water and paprika, salt and pepper to the pan. Stir to blend. Add rice and stir. Then add broccoli. Place chicken on top. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until rice is just tender. Remove from heat and let rest, covered for a few additional minutes, then serve.
Recipe adapted from the Campbell Soup Co.
Note 1> There are many wonderful salt-free seasoning blends available. Look for ones with bright flavors like lemon and pepper. Italian seasoning blends work well too. If your blend contains salt, then cut back or eliminate the additional salt seasoning in the recipe.
Note 2> Feel free to substitute any of the following:
a) Campbell’s 98% Fat Free Cream of Chicken Soup
b) Campbell’s Healthy Request® Cream of Chicken Soup
c) Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup with Herbs
d) Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup