Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Here's One For The Bachelors

Over the past few days, I have been worrying that I haven't been cooking very many "blog-worthy" dishes lately. However, it's not every day that I feel like making risotto or coq au vin, or something similar that takes a long time to prepare.

Then it hit me. Why not do a post based on one of the easiest dishes I know how to prepare? I'm talking about a personal favourite of mine, which definitely falls into the realm of comfort food - Baked Chicken Leg with Minute Rice. Oh, and a nice green salad to go with it.

When I get home from work, unless I have something specific planned for dinner, most of the time I don't really feel like chopping and mixing and spending a lot of time worrying about what I'm going to eat. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I do enjoy doing just that, but last night was not one of those nights.

This dish can be as easy or as complex as you like. Here's what you need:

Ian's Baked Chicken Leg Casserole with Minute Rice


  • 1 chicken quarter, thawed
  • 2 Cups frozen vegetables OR 2 Cups fresh vegetables, chopped
  • 1 10-oz can of Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1/2 Cup Cheddar or Mozzarella cheese, grated
  • pepper, garlic powder, oregano, etc. to taste

Preheat oven to 375F. Place chicken in casserole dish or baking pan, and cover with vegetables. You can use any vegetables you like - last night I used 6 or 7 large mushrooms, half an onion and one plum tomato. I've indicated that you should use 2 cups of vegetables, but that's just a suggestion. The veggies should just about (but not quite) fill the casserole dish, leaving enough room for the soup and the cheese. Empty the can of mushroom soup over the vegetables, and spread so it covers the entire casserole. Season with pepper and garlic powder and sprinkle the grated cheese over the top. Bake for 45-60 minutes.

Minute Rice:

  • 1 Cup Minute Rice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Cup water or chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

You can make as much or as little rice as you like, as long as you use an equal amount of liquid.

Bring the water or chicken stock to a boil. Add the rice, the egg and the pepper, and stir for a couple of seconds so everything is mixed. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand for at least five to ten minutes so all the liquid has been absorbed.

There you go - dinner in less than an hour with about five minutes prep time.

If you happen to be feeling ambitious, a salad might be a nice addition to the meal. Now, I know what you're saying - "But Ian, doesn't that involve a lot of chopping and mixing and stuff?" Well, yes, but not too much. Again, salad can be as simple or as complex as you like, or based on what you have in your fridge. I used one romaine heart, a handful of baby spinach, a half-dozen chopped mushrooms (I really like mushrooms), a chopped plum tomato, two diced shallots, some fresh grated parmesan cheese and a little light Caesar dressing. Tasty and moderately healthy.

Dinner doesn't have to be fancy, but it should be tasty.

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