View Full Version : Chicken and Rice Help

09-29-2005, 10:41 AM
Ok I'm hoping someone can help me with the missing ingredient(s). My father loves chicken and rice. His mom used to make it for him and he said it was the best. Well my grandmother has long since passed away. I found her recipe and tried to make it, but the flavor was very bland. I have tried adding things, but I'm trying to keep to the original as much as possible. This recipe is from the 1940's so they didn't have things like "Golden Mushroom Soup" etc.

Here it is as my grandmother had it written -

1 chicken boiled in water with onions, salt and celery until tender.
Take chicken out, cool and cut into small pieces. Pour part of broth in another pan and cook rice in broth. Add extra broth as need. When done add chicken.

Now I found a second card with the same recipe in my mother's recipe box but it's more detailed and has us adding a can of Cream of chicken soup to the mix. I'm guessing this is a newer version as I don't think there was cream of chicken soup available in the 1940's.

Ok so you can see how bad this is. (Make a note that any recipes you have written down you have all the ingredients spelled out for your grand kids :) )

Any help would be greatly appreciated :)

09-29-2005, 12:56 PM
* Exported from MasterCook *


Recipe By :Better Homes and Gardens (1951)
Serving Size : 2 Preparation Time :0:20
Categories : Mexican Poultry

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 Pieces Chicken Breast (large or 3 small) -- Skinned/Boned
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion -- Chopped
1 Clove Garlic -- Minced
1 Large Can Sliced Tomatoes (28 oz)
1 Cup Rice
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Dash Red Pepper Flakes
Pepper -- Freshly Ground
1 Large Green Pepper -- Sliced in Rings

Sprinkle chicken pieces with pepper and paprika.
Brown them quickly in a little olive oil. Remove to casserole with a slotted spoon. Saute onion and garlic in the same pan. Add to chicken in casserole. Sprinkle rice around chicken. Add salt and canned tomatoes. May need to add more water so that rice will cook properly. Cover.
Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours Add pepper rings during last 20 minutes..

Can also be cooked in Micro on High until mixture starts
to cook. Then reduce power level and cook about 1/2
hour on Medium. Test rice for doneness. May require more
water. Add pepper rings during last 5 minutes.

"Main Dish"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 437 Calories; 8g Fat (15.8% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 83g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 1074mg Sodium. Exchanges: 5 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat.

Serving Ideas : Good with a green mixed salad

NOTES : One of our great favorites! Add a few frozen peas in the last 20 minutes.

09-29-2005, 01:15 PM
Sounds like something my mom used to make, and it *was* pretty bland. We were kids, though. I don't think she ever used a seasoning other than salt! :-)

To add oomph, I would either tuck some veggies in there - thinking crustless pot pie, sort of? or experiment with curry spices. Could definitely use an allium or two, at the very least.

09-29-2005, 01:22 PM
Your grandmother's recipe sounds like the way my mom always made chicken and rice. When I make it, I add the cream of chicken soup, as your mother obviously did, just because I like the thicker, creamier texture. I also add a couple of chicken bouillon cubes. I generally don't use a lot of salt when I cook, but to me it makes a big difference in this dish. Just plain old salt and pepper can make the difference between bland and yummy!

09-29-2005, 01:26 PM
Maybe adding some carrots, garlic, black pepper and a few herbs to the chicken before "boiling" as in a basic chicken soup recipe.
Your mom's version sounds like it added a "gravy" to the dish.

White Chicken Stock

White stock has a light, clean flavor that provides a nice backdrop for more delicate ingredients. You can use any variety of chicken pieces for this stock.
This recipe goes with Chicken Soup with Garlic, Saffron, and Tomatoes, Curried Chicken Corn Chowder, Wonton Soup, Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
10 parsley sprigs
8 thyme sprigs
3 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch-thick pieces
3 bay leaves
2 medium onions, unpeeled and quartered
2 carrots, cut into 2-inch-thick pieces
2 garlic cloves, crushed
16 cups cold water
6 pounds chicken pieces

Place first 8 ingredients in an 8-quart stockpot; add the water and chicken. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 3 hours. Strain stock through a fine sieve into a large bowl. Reserve chicken for another use; discard remaining solids. Cover and chill stock for 8 hours. Skim solidified fat from surface of broth, and discard.

Yield: 10 cups (serving size: 1 cup)

CALORIES 28(26% from fat); FAT 0.8g (sat 0.2g,mono 0.3g,poly 0.2g); PROTEIN 4.7g; CHOLESTEROL 15mg; CALCIUM 4mg; SODIUM 18mg; FIBER 0.1g; IRON 0.3mg; CARBOHYDRATE 0.4g

Jim Peterson
Cooking Light, JANUARY 2003

Michele Hall
09-29-2005, 01:32 PM
You might try using a stewing chicken, not a fryer. Stewing chickens give off a better flavor but have to be cooked low and slow. From what my grandma told me they are tough old birds and require time to become there best - just like her!

09-29-2005, 02:04 PM
Wow thanks everyone! I got some great ideas from you.

Curleytop that recipe sounds yummy. For my dad I'll do his plain one, but I'm gonna try the one you have for me :)

Wolfpack - Good idea on the bouillon cubes I didn't think of that, and that is something they would have had back then.

Veschke - I love the curry spice idea, and with so many different curries I could make a lot of variants.

Sneezles - I haven't heard of "white stock" before. Thanks for showing me something new.

Michelle - Stewing chicken! Why didn't I think of that! And I just watched a program that talked about Stewing Chickens for the different flavor. Shame on me :)

09-29-2005, 02:30 PM
I think part of the problem is that chickens are raised and sent to market so quickly now, that they are quite a different product from the chickens that were available in the 1940's. Additionally, many chicken products now have up to 15% added water or broth for tenderness. The "stewing chicken" or at least a "roasting" chicken should give better results. They aren't as young as the broiler/fryers. Free range chickens are expensive, but also are tastier! Look for them in a natural foods store.

Cooking in broth instead of water is probably the easiest way to get more chicken flavor into the dish. Some thyme or sage would be good too.

09-29-2005, 04:05 PM
My mom makes that exact recipe except she adds a packet of dry onion soup mix. It will definitely tackle the bland issue. I tried to guess once on how she made it and did not put in the onion soup mix, definitely bland.

09-29-2005, 04:06 PM
Have you tried the Creamy Chicken-and-Rice Casserole from CL? It's in the recipe finder, if you're not familiar with it -- but it's really great and sounds very similar to your recipe. It uses cream of mushroom soup and Rice-a-Roni instead of plain rice and then adds garlic powder and a few other spices. I would call it a very basic recipe for Chicken and Rice but it's not bland at all.