My husband isn’t that big of a fan of rice. So I try not to make it too much. But there is just something simple about chicken and rice that make it sound really appealing when you have a busy lifestyle (like going back to work full time and having a 12 week old!). I found this recipe for Cheesy Skillet Chicken and Rice with Green Beans on My Kitchen Café. It looked quick, it looked easy and it looked totally satisfying. As printed on the recipe, each serving provides:
14.5 g fat
28.4 g carbohydrate
2.1 g fiber
38.5 g protein
Now I knew my husband wouldn’t eat the mushrooms (as he often says, “Why would anyone eat a fungus?”) so I didn’t even bother to add those, but if you do include mushrooms, you are providing additional nutrients to the dish without a whole of calories. I did make a few nutrition changes. First, I used brown rice instead of white rice to increase the fiber. This required me to increase the time that it simmered on the stovetop, but I anticipated that in my planning. I also decreased the chicken portion and increased the green bean portion as green beans are less calorically dense than chicken. Finally, I used reduced fat cheddar. I also cut up the chicken into large chunks as I had less chicken breasts than people I was serving.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of this recipe. I made it completely on the stovetop, except for adding the cheese. We then put it in a container and brought it over to our friends for dinner. I warmed it up on their stovetop and added the cheese at their house. It received rave reviews – even from my non-rice loving husband! So, we’ll be having it again our house, and hopefully I’ll remember to take a picture that time!
Cheesy Skillet Chicken and Rice with Green Beans – BETTER!
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and ground black pepper
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 medium garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 ½ cups long grain brown rice
1 pound fresh or frozen green beans
1 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season liberally with salt and pepper. (I also cut the chicken into large chunks at this point). Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until the oil is rippling and hot. Carefully lay the chicken in the skillet and cook until the chicken is well browned on the first side, about 3-4 minutes. Flip the chicken with a pair of tongs and let it brown on the second side, about 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer chicken to a plate and set aside. Drain all but 1-2 Tbsp oil from the pan.
Return the pan to medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ½ tsp salt. (Here’s where the recipe adds the mushrooms – not in my household!), scraping the browned bits off the bottom and edges of the pan, cook for 6-8 minutes. Add the rice and continue to cook until the edges of the rice turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes (since brown rice takes longer to cook). Add the chicken to the pan and cover, cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the rice is mostly cooked through, about an additional 15 minutes.
Stir the green beans into the skillet, stir the mixture well, cover and continue to cook on low until the beans and rice are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings
9.8 g fat
29.5 g carbohydrate
4.0 g fiber
30.1 g protein