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Budget, Chicken

Italian Rice with Chicken

This week I’m looking at some hearty and inexpensive meals. Funnily enough I’ve taken all of them from the BBC GoodFood website. It’s a wonderful resource for the home cook and there’s so much on there that I reckon you could use it every day and it would keep you cooking until the end of time. The original recipe can be found here.

What I love about dishes like this is that there’s a very good chance that you’ll have all the ingredients in the house already. It’s good to have a few of these types of recipes stored away.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g chicken, breast or thigh, cut into strips
  • 1 red onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 orange peppers, cut into thick strips
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 100g long grain rice
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 4 tbsp pesto

Ready for the Oven

Method of Preparation:

  1. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, shallow oven proof pan, add the chicken and cook for 3-4 mins until golden all over.
  3. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Add the onion and peppers, and cook for 3 mins or until lightly golden.
  5. Tip in the garlic and fry for a minute.
  6. Stir in the rice, then the tomatoes, stock and reserved chicken.
  7. Turn up the heat and bring to the boil before transferring to the oven to cook, uncovered, for 20 mins.
  8. Season to taste and drizzle over the pesto before serving.

For once I followed this to the letter because it is so easy to do and the ingredients are so familiar you just feel really confident with them.

One Pot Heaven

You need to be OK with the fact that when you fry your chicken you’re going to get some stuck to the bottom of the pan. Before I knew anything about cooking I’d have panicked at this point but now I know that’s just flavour that the addition of any liquid (stock or tomatoes in this instance) is going to lift it off the pan and put it back into the finished dish. If you’ve heard the term de-glaze before this is exactly what it means.

This dish is super juicy, really flavoursome and really quick too. I reckon I was in the kitchen for about 20 minutes before I got this in the oven so in all it took about 40 minutes to do, a proper mid week treat. If you’ve no pesto in the house don’t worry too much, although it does really improve the flavour, but if you’ve got some cheese in I’d suggest grating some in instead.

Aaaah Pesto!


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