Baked Chicken over Creamy Mushroom Rice

 the new old

So I set out today to create a new recipe, something I thoroughly enjoy doing when I have the time and in doing so, providing a supper dish worthy of the time spent. The process of melding together ingredients into whatever I am hankering at the moment, I find rewarding. I like to start with a few basic ingredients, in this case a package of bone-in chicken breasts, a package of mushrooms and a bag of Aromatic Rice from Louisiana. From there, I let my fifth sense, the savory area of the brain take over and go about the recipe. I envision from start to finish the other ingredients to use and have on hand, how I will go about the cooking method and the end result I want, what the overall flavor should be and the appearance. Sometimes I miss the mark but when I do hit one right, it feels good.

Chicken, mushrooms and rice, that tired old something or another dish we have all done is getting a make-over of sorts. Now, my chicken licken casserole I made a while back was pretty darn good, but today, I wanted something a little different. My thought process lent toward baked chicken with a velvety smooth saucy rice, with hints of celery, bay leaves and roasted bell peppers, and the ease of serving from a casserole. Here is how I did it. Enjoy!

Baked Chicken over Creamy Mushroom Rice
serves 4 to 8

chicken partially baked

4 large bone-in chicken breast or pieces of choice
Salt, pepper, paprika and flour for dusting

3 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning

1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced celery
1 -8 oz fresh mushrooms, chopped

chicken with rice mixture

1/4 cup diced roasted bell pepper, see below
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup uncooked rice, I used aromatic long grain

Wash the chicken under running water and remove visible fat. I leave the skin on to bake but you may remove it if desired. I like to cut each breast in half creating a better serving size and also for even cooking. Season the pieces with salt, pepper and a light sprinkle of paprika and dust lightly with flour. Set on a baking sheet skin side up. Place in a preheated 350 degree F. oven and bake uncovered for about 25 minutes or until skin is crisp and brown. Remove and set aside in a warm area.

While chicken is baking, combine broth, bay leaves and Creole seasoning in a saucepan and simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Remove bay leaves.

In a skillet, melt butter and saute onion, celery and mushrooms over medium high heat until tender. Add the bell pepper and remove from heat.

Spray a large oblong casserole dish with cooking oil and combine the chicken broth, mushroom mixture and the cream in the dish. Stir in the rice. Lay the chicken pieces on top, push each down a bit and cover with aluminum foil. Bake about 30 minutes or until rice is done and chicken is thoroughly cooked. The rice should still be a little moist. Remove and let set a few minutes before serving.

Quick Roasted Peppers: Working with tongs over a hot heat source, like a gas stove, hold pepper slices over the flame a few minutes until blistered.

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