Chicken Rice Pilaf
2 Chicken breasts
1 cup jasmine rice
2 long carrots, peel and finely diced
1 cup fresh peas (can substitute with frozen or canned)
1 TBSP finely diced caramelized onions or ¼ cup finely diced raw onions
Wash and dry chicken breasts, then trim any fat off chicken, then slice breasts in half horizontally to create 2 thin strips of chicken. Dry chicken breasts one more time to ensure all moisture has been removed (the chicken will get a better golden sear and there won’t be any popping in the oil from water droplets).
Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. After waiting several minutes for the pan to become hot, add a small amount of olive oil (1 TBSP) and wait one minute for the oil to become hot, then place chicken breasts in oil. While chicken is cooking, season with salt, pepper, sage, and thyme. Cook until the chicken looks 90% finished (the top of the chicken breast you can see will be almost all white and very little pink), then gently turn the chicken and finish cooking the remaining 10% of the time on the other side. If the chicken is ready to be turned, it will easily release from the pan. If it still needs a few more minutes, it will resist being turned and will stick to the pan. Once the chicken has reached 165 F, remove from the pan and cover with tinfoil and place in a low heated oven until ready to serve.
Add 2 cups of water to the pan over medium heat. Cook at a low heat, stirring and scraping, until the bottom of the pan is clean (2-4 minutes) creating a light broth from the brown chicken bits. Add rice to the light chicken broth and return to medium heat. Add onions, carrots and peas. Season with tarragon and parsley. Once water has reached a boil, turn heat down to low and cook for 15 minutes with a lid over the pan. Once rice is cooked through add diced chicken and serve.
There are a dozen variations to a rice pilaf and this is one combination of spices and vegetables we really enjoy. I love it because it’s a simple one pan dish that comes together very quickly.