Sunday, March 02, 2008
Chicken Rice-a-Roni Dish
Hello and welcome to our mostly affiliated with a holiday except this time recipe feature.
Today's recipe is the creatively titled CHICKEN RICE-A-RONI DISH! It was one of the few surviving recipes that my mom made consistently over time. I have no idea where she got this recipe, but she did not make it in my childhood. She began making it in my teens I think.
Before she passed away, I had started to collect her recipes as she made them. Traditional Southern staples such as fried chicken or roast (she never called it pot roast -- it was just roast) were all cooked from her culinary knowledge and never written down. Foolishly, I thought that there was a treasure trove of eating goodness in her rooster-emblazoned recipe box, but I never checked and discovered later to my deep chagrin that it was mostly full of stuff I'd never eaten. This one, though less significant, managed to survive -- rather like a pair of fossilized chopsticks found on a hunt for Ming vases -- useful, but not the creme de la creme. Still, here it is.
CHICKEN RICE-A-RONI DISH!
You will need:
1 box chicken flavor Rice-a-Roni (use real butter in preparation)
4 chicken breasts
1 cup celery, chopped fine
6 green onions, chopped fine
1 jar marinated artichokes (tender parts only -- reserve 2 tbsp marinade)
1 small jar Hellmann's mayonnaise
Note: Best made a day ahead
Cook Rice-a-Roni according to package directions. After cooking, set aside to cool completely. When cool, transfer to a large mixing bowl. At the same time, cook chicken breasts (cover with water and 2 tsp salt -- water should be about 2 inches over chicken). Bring breasts to boil, then lower heat to avoid them getting tough. Large breasts can be cut into smaller pieces to reduce cooking time. When chicken is done, set aside to cool completely and cube.
Peel celery and chop fine, chop onions fine, cut up artichoke hearts. Add chopped chicken and all chopped vegetables to the Rice-a-Roni in the large bowl. Add mayonnaise and 2 tbsp of reserved artichoke marinade, stir together and season to taste with lemon pepper. Refrigerate an hour or more before serving. Delicious with sliced tomatoes and fresh French bread.
This is a great summer dish, but I made it in winter and it tasted just as good. Due to the high mayonnaise content, a serving size is probably 1/4 cup but that didn't stop me from eating a whole cereal bowl full just now. If you do have tomatoes on the side, sprinkle some lemon pepper on the top for an extra taste sensation. Enjoy!