With southern traditions comes traditional recipes. This recipe is as traditional as one can get. It is simple, full of flavor and is great for cool fall nights and cold winter evenings. This is a recipe that I literally had all the time growing up. From my grandmothers kitchen to family dinners as a child/teen. Now I get to serve this classic to my daughters. I say they enjoy it just as much as I did/do growing up. It is classic recipes like this that I will lovingly pass down to them so they can prepare it for their children….eventually. The flavors are bright with lemon and the broth lightens the meal so you get a healthy and delicious dinner that you will feel good about.
So let’s get to it….
3 chicken breast – bone in and skin on
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 onion – diced small
1 stalk celery – diced small
1 carrot – diced small
2 cloves garlic – minced
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 bay leaf
6 cups chicken stock or broth
1 cup rice – rinsed well and drained
2 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
- In a large pot place in your chicken, 1 tsp salt, and add enough water to cover the chicken. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain. Set aside. ( This allows the blood from the chicken to be cooked out so you get a better and more clear broth later. This also enhances the broth flavor. Do not skip this step)
- Rinse the pot of any left over residue that was left over in the pan. You can use a paper towel to wipe out any stuck on bits. Place the pot back on the stove over medium heat. Add the oil to the pan and let come to heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrot to the pan and cook until the vegetables are soft. About 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir. Cook 30 seconds.
- Add the broth to the pan along with the rice, lemon zest, lemon juice, and bay leaf. Stir to combine. Add the chicken back in and gently stir. You don’t want the broth to get cloudy. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Cover with a lid and let cook 10 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside. Gently stir the rice and cover. Allow to cook another 10 minutes.
- In the mean time shred the chicken and place in a bowl.
- When the rice is done carefully remove the bay leaf and discard. Add the shredded chicken back in and check for seasoning. You can add more salt and pepper if needed along with 1 to 2 cups of water. If you like it more of a soup consistency add more water. If you like it more of a porridge consistency add less water or none at all. It is completely up to you. Once the seasoning is correct you are done!
Now simply plate as desired and enjoy.
I topped mine with thinly sliced green onion and thinly sliced Jalapenos. You can top it however you desire. Enjoy…..