An easy and complete meal cooked all in ONE pan. Juicy and flavorful braised chicken thighs nestle into nutty wild rice pilaf and fresh in-season vegetables.
When I think of Brussels sprouts…I think of winter, and holiday meals and pancetta (because pancetta (or bacon) and Brussels sprouts are kind of like peanut butter and jelly…they just go together!).
BUT! It’s March, and my local grocery store had some of the most beautiful Brussels sprouts I have seen in quite some time! I was looking for these beauties during the holidays…only to find some less than spectacular options.
Huh? It’s March! I bought them, because that’s what I do. When I find really amazing looking produce at the grocery store or at the farmers market, I have to buy it…and then I figure out what I’m going to make.
Serendipitously…my new copy of Cooking Light Magazine arrived in the mail the same day I brought home the Brussels sprouts. Snuggled up in my favorite comfy chair with a cup of tea (because I HAVE to peruse the issue from front to back whenever a new issue arrives) was this recipe for a one pot complete meal with braised chicken thighs, rice pilaf….and BRUSSELS SPROUTS! Turns out Brussels sprouts are in season into early spring (who knew!)
This one pot meal is so simple and delivers a “complete” (aka balanced) meal…as in a protein, a veggie, and a starch.
My Mom is the master of balanced meals…we always had 1) a protein 2) a veggie (or two) and 3) a starch…with every meal when I was growing up. She still cooks this way, always a balanced meal. I admire her and I wish I had picked up this skill! I’m more a “one and done” kind of girl when I’m just cooking for myself, as in one dish and I’m done. If it happens to have all the elements of a balanced meal that’s perfect, but chances are with just one dish I’m missing some of the elements of balanced, some of the time . So this one pot complete meal is ideal!-for people like me who only cook one dish for dinner, or for those wanting to keep things super simple and don’t like cleaning up messy kitchens. It’s perfect to showcase the beautiful Brussels sprouts, and a perfectly balanced meal.
The base of this meal is braised chicken thighs, and wild rice. You can easily substitute any in- season vegetable for the Brussels sprouts. Asparagus, Mushrooms, Zucchini, Cauliflower, etc. and have a perfectly balanced and healthy meal on the table in no time.
** recipe from Cooking Light (March 2015- The Family Dinner Issue, pg. 136)
- ¼ cup walnut halves
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 (6 oz.) skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 1 cup uncooked wild rice
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- ½ cup finely chopped carrot
- ¼ cup chopped celery
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1½ cups chicken stock, reduced sodium
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup raisins
- 8 oz. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- Heat a large skillet (at least 12 inches) over medium-high heat. Add walnuts and cook until toasted, stirring occasionally (approx. 5 min.). Remove walnuts from pan and let cool. Coarsely chop and set aside.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Return skillet to heat and add oil to pan. Swirl to coat pan with the oil. Add chicken and cook 4 min. until browned, turn and cook an additional 3 min. Set chicken aside on a plate (chicken will not be thoroughly cooked ).
- Add rice, onion, carrot, celery and thyme to pan. Stir ingredients and cook 3 minutes. Add chicken stock and 1 cup water and scrape the sides of pan to loosen any browned bits. Reduce heat to simmer , cover pan and cook for 45 min.
- Return chicken to pan (nestling into rice mixture). Add Brussels sprouts and raisins and return to heat. Cover and simmer until chicken is fully cooked all liquid is absorbed (approx. 10-12 min.) Serve chicken on a bed of rice and sprinkle with chopped walnuts