I love serving dinner from a skillet—here you have whole grains, protein, and veggies all in one pan, bound together by a rich cream cheese sauce. If you’d like something else on the plate, serve with a side of green beans. Browning the chicken and lightly browning the onion creates a tasty layer of browned bits in the pan, which then adds lots of savory depth to the creamy sauce.
3 cups water
2/3 cup uncooked wild rice
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
5/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2/3 cup thinly sliced carrot
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves
1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
Bring 3 cups water and rice to a boil in a large saucepan; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 to 50 minutes or until rice is done. Drain.
While rice cooks, preheat oven to 400°F.
Heat a 10-inch cast-iron or ovenproof skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until well browned. Remove chicken from pan (chicken will not be completely done).
Reduce heat to medium. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, carrot, and garlic; cook 5 minutes or until beginning to brown, stirring frequently. Add half of spinach; cover and cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts; stir, add remaining half of spinach, and stir to wilt. Combine stock and flour, stirring with a whisk. Add stock mixture, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add cream cheese, 3/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to pan; cook 2 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in rice. Nestle chicken into rice mixture. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley.
Executive Editor at Cooking Light, Ann Pittman, explores whole grain's all-around awesomeness in her new book, Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice. This complete guide to healthy, hearty, and incredibly versatile whole grains includes something for everyone and offers innovative new techniques to ensure the most flavorful results. From simple, delicious sides to satisfying mains and sublime desserts, this James Beard Award-winning author educates, inspires and does not disappoint. Discover a whole new way of looking at whole grains, how they are prepared, and how they can be incorporated into a healthy diet at every meal.
Also appeared in:
Oxmoor House, March, 2016,Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice