Monday, January 25, 2016

Chicken Thighs, Portobellos, Wild Rice & Noodle Bake

Maybe it isn't Thursday (or maybe it is by the time you read this), but what we've got here is a throwback. A throwback recipe, that is. Our cold and snowy weather outside had me remembering warm kitchens and tempting aromas of slower times and some old fashioned family recipes. 

Memories of a rice and egg noodle side dish I used to make back in the seventies kept nudging me until I looked up the old recipe. It included a little soy sauce and some water chestnuts along with chicken stock. In fact, it was kind of a made-from-scratch Rice-a-Roni twist...which (sigh) I couldn't have because of the celiac issue. 

You know, I reworked that old recipe into a one dish dinner with chicken thighs and beefy portobello mushrooms and ended up with an entire Sunday dinner that was even better than the original side dish. Instead of egg noodles, fine rice noodles worked perfectly. Instead of Minute rice, I used a box of Near East Wild Rice mix (this brand is gluten free). And, of course, I used wheat free tamari in place of soy sauce. Chicken, portobellos, wine....voila! A throwback recipe that was updated to be gluten free, that was almost a one dish dinner, and was everything I'd remembered. 

All that was needed was a salad or a green vegetable for a Sunday dinner that brought back warm memories with a whole new and easy dinner. They say you can't go back. Maybe, with a good old fashioned recipe in hand, there's a way after all.

Chicken Thighs, Portobellos, Wild Rice 
& Noodle Bake

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 5-6 skinless chicken thighs (or equivalent chicken breasts, if you wish)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 large portobello mushroom caps, sliced across in half and then into 1/2" pieces
  • 3 T butter
  • 4 oz fine rice noodles (half a box of 8.8 oz Thai Kitchen Thin Rice Noodles or same amount of another brand)
  • a 6 oz box of Near East Long Grain & Wild Rice mix (original), save the spice packet
  • 1/2 C dry white wine
  • 20 oz low salt chicken broth
  • 1 T wheat free tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 can of sliced water chestnuts - do not drain

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

On top of the stove, in an ovenproof Dutch oven, heat olive oil. 

Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, then brown on both sides. Remove from pan. Add mushrooms to the pot and stir a minute or two until just cooked. Remove to same plate as chicken.

Add butter to pot and melt. Add noodles and stir until lightly browned in places; add the wild rice mix - do not add seasoning packet yet. Stir rice and noodles until coated with butter. Now sprinkle the seasoning packet over the mixture in the pot and pour the wine in; stir up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add chicken broth and tamari, stir again. Add water chestnuts, including the liquid, and stir well.

Top rice and noodle mixture with browned chicken and then with the mushrooms. Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Serve with a side salad or green veggie.

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