1 Meat and 2 Sides (or, “One Cannot Tame Wild Rice”)

In my pantry today:

  • 5 chicken breast tenders
  • 3 c broccoli florets
  • 1 package Mahatma® long grain & wild rice
  • 2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 4 tsp safflower oil
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2/3 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese

Take your thawed tenders out of the fridge and set them up to spend the morning with a rub of 1 tbsp lemon juice and 2 tbsp garlic paste. When it’s time to begin cooking, go ahead and start your rice, and when you hit the “reduce heat & cover” portion of things go ahead and start 2 tsp of safflower oil warming to MH. When full heat is in the house, invite the chicken over. Sear all sides of the tenders and let the garlic paste brown, but not burn. As they cook, cut each tender into 2-4 pieces and when they begin sticking, add 1/4 c water, toss and scrape up any brown bits. Sprinkle in 1/2 tsp red hot chili powder and 1 extra tsp of garlic powder (for good, garlicky measure) then add the other 1/4 c water turn the burner to L and cover.

Now address your broccoli. In a large bowl, drizzle on 2 tsp of safflower oil and sprinkle on your remaining seasonings; toss the florets by hand as your fingers better know what needs oilin’ than might a mere fork. Spread them out on a non-stick cookie sheet and bake at 400° for 7m. Then take them out of the oven, sprinkle 1/4 c Parmesan cheese on top and return to the oven for another 3-4m. For more good measure, uncover your chicken and sprinkle it, too with 1/4 c Parmesan cheese and re-cover until eating time.

Serve chicken and broccoli over (or beside — I’m not here to judge anybody by preposition) the rice mixture you bought on a whim but now reminds you why you do not like wild rice. This meal might’ve gotten 5 spoons were it served with some kind of flavorful pasta with a light sauce, but instead the swamp-butt flavor of wild rice takes it down to 3 spoons.

 

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