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I know what you’re thinking! Sure, chicken is easy and yes, it can be healthy, but can it really be gourmet? Absolutely! It’s all in the presentation. Grab a pen and paper; here’s how you do it.

Preferably, it’s a heck of a lot easier to use an electric frying pan. This way you can make your sauce. Add about 2 Tbls. of extra light virgin olive oil into your pan. Take two nice size garlic cloves, peel them, smack them with a knife, chop them up and put them in your pan. Slice up some red onion (about 3 inches long and a half inch thick). Quarter a handful of mushrooms and sauté them on low along with the onion and garlic. This is a great meal with a yummy Pinot Grigio so I’ll pour myself a glass and use about a quarter cup of it to throw into the sauté. Let that reduce a little and stir it around a few times. Next, add about 2 or 3 Tbls. of Balsamic Vinegar (I like Colavita because it’s a little sweeter), stir and cover. Onto the next station!

Now, rinse off the boneless, skinless chicken breasts, removing all of the fat. I used 3 7 oz. breasts. Turn up the pan to about 300 and sear the breasts tenderloin side down first. After about a minute and a half, turn the chicken over and repeat the sear. Turn down the pan to about 200 and add two cups of water. Once the liquid begins to boil again, add a teaspoon and a ½ of low sodium, plain chicken broth paste. Stir it around so it dissolves properly. Add about a quarter size amount of Thyme on top of the chicken along with some fresh ground pepper. Startin’ to sound good yet? Now, you just let it go! Onto the next station!

You can do this with really any kind of rice. My personal favorite is jasmine white (because it’s not as mushy) but you could do whatever you like. Also, you could even dress up your rice a little by using some slices almonds or cashews. Cook your rice about a half hour before you would like to eat but make sure that it’s not too mushy. This way, you’re not pressured. Anyway, the longer the chicken is in the sauce, the yummier it will be! You just want to make sure that you stir it and turn them every 10 minutes or so and keep the temp down to 200. Make sure that you keep about 2 cups of liquid in the pan at all times.

Ready to eat? Okay, remove the chicken and cut it into slices or chunks (whatever suites you best). Take a 1 ½ tsp and mix it with a small amount of cold water (maybe a ¼ cup of water). Pour the mixture into the sauce and stir. Once it gets a little thicker, add another teaspoon to a ¼ cup of water and do it again. Add the chicken to the sauce and stir it up. Let the sauce cook for about 10 minutes… stir it often. You want the sauce to be thick enough to coat the chicken nicely. Onto the next station!

Here’s where the presentation comes in. Now I’m one of those people who would use his or her “nice stuff” any time I could. So, my philosophy is, if you’ve got it, use it! While you’re messing around in the kitchen, finely julienne some pretty peppers. Red, orange and yellow are my favorite because they add some really nice color to the dish. Sauté them just enough to be limp and you can either clump a little bit onto the plate or spread it out a little. You don’t want it over powering that’s all. Ladle about a cup and a ½ of rice onto the plate. Now make a small pocket into the top of the rice. Ladle a nice amount of sauce into the top of the pocket. Add your chicken to the top and garnish your plate with your peppers and the final touch which is a nice piece of herb. I like to use rosemary sprigs because they’re so pretty. But you could use virtually anything I suppose.

Viola! You have now created Chicken and Rice dish that is EASY, HEALTHY and GOURMET!

Chicken and Rice – Easy, Healthy, AND Gourmet?

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