Friday, April 15, 2011

Quick and Easy Curry Chicken and Rice

This is super easy Curry Chicken and Rice is truly a favorite, "go-to" recipe in our busy home!
I found this fabulously easy and oh, so yummy recipe in the cookbook put together by our local elementary school. Once I tried this fast, easy recipe, the whole family was hooked! I have found that the very best recipe books are put together by local school or church groups. They are ususally done as fundraisers, and people seem to really step up with their best family recipes...The best thing is that the recipes included in these local books seem to be the fast and easy, "real" food that "real" families eat. So many nationally produced cookbooks are full of fancy pictures and ingredient lists as long as my arm...they are interesting to look at, but does anybody really make that stuff? So as a general rule, whenever my local school or church group comes out with a new cookbook, I'm the first in line to buy one!

We are a big fan of chicken and rice dishes at our house, and it took me several years to learn the secret of making really good rice. I always used regular 'ol Uncle Bens or whatever rice I could find on sale. I love the fabulous, slightly sticky, moist, perfectly steamed rice from our local chinese restaurant, but never really gave a second thought as to whether I could make that kind of rice at home. I began to notice that whenever we had rice at my mother-in-laws house, her rice was the perfect, moist, steamed rice like the restaurants would serve. I finally asked her about it, and she taught me a secret that changed my rice cooking life forever!

If you want perfect, chinese restaurant style moist, "sticky" rice, Uncle Bens just won't cut it.

You need to buy Calrose rice, often found in the asian section of the grocery store. It is sometimes labeled as Jasmine rice. This is rice with the outer coating of starch left intact, which makes a wonderful, moist, slightly sticky rice perfect for serving with meals that contain a sauce of any kind. I serve "sticky" rice with all sorts of dishes: beef, chicken, pork...anything with a sauce, such as No Leftovers Curry Chicken, for example! You don't even need special equipment to get perfect rice every time. More on that in a bit.

I recently made this chicken recipe when I had a house full of people for one of my daughters birthday parties. As I took it out of the oven and walked through the kitchen to place it on the table, everyone I passed took a whiff of the deliciousness and commented "What is THAT?????? It lookes so good!" And of course, it WAS! Enjoy!

Super Easy, No Leftovers Curry Chicken
serves 6-8

6 uncooked chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
1 cup mayo (fat free works great. I often use regular but it's a little "heavy". )
1 c. parmesan cheese (I use the stuff in the can)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 tsp curry powder (I use less for the kids)
1/2 c. herb seasoned breadcrumbs

Mix soup, mayo and curry powder. Pour over chicken in 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with cheese and top with breadcrumbs. Drizzle with melted butter. I often double the sauce so there will be extra to serve over the rice.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Perfect Easy Rice

I use my 4 qt. pyrex casserole dish with a lid for this. I just take 2 cups Calrose or Jasmine rice, and place in casserole dish. Add 3 cups water and place lid on dish. Bake for 40-45 minutes at 350 or until water is absorbed and rice is tender. This serves 6-8 people

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