It’s been weeks since I wrote here… There have been lots of new experiences – some enjoyable, some not so much. Either way I’m spending more time reading for school and perusing the web for make-ahead meals. I found this one months ago and vowed to make it when the time was right, albeit with several changes. Rachael Ray is often a source of inspiration and easy techniques, but rarely is here fare health-concious (*no, adding 1 cup of spinach for 4 people to compliment the 12oz of protein per person does not count). So below you’ll see the technique and the flavor concept but tamed down a bit to be realistic and healthy with loads of veggies, brown rice and lean protein.
This is not a busy night dinner, but it yields loads of leftovers and is a hearty meal.
Prep your veggies.
Brown your meats.
Add your veggies and soften.
Assemble your seafood-free fare and toss (gently) in the oven.
- 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking brown rice
- Generous pinch saffron threads
- 3 to 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2″ pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons EVOO
- 6 ounces Spanish chorizo, chopped (could also do a Mexican chorizo, smashed in the pan and cooked down with the veggies)
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 2 red bell peppers, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, roasted
- 1 large zucchini, diced
- Seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
- 1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 pound sea scallops
- 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Prepare rice according to package instructions, and cook until al dente, about 1-2 minutes less than recommended. (This will keep your rice fluffy when reheated.)
- Meanwhile, season some flour with the paprika in a shallow dish. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper, then dredge in the flour and shake off the excess. Heat 2 teaspoons EVOO (*to make the oil go further, I also spray the pan with nonstick spray) in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and crisp on both sides, about 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined plate to rest.
- Repeat oil/cooking spray routine in the Dutch oven. Add the chorizo and cook until the fat begins to render, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Deglaze with a splash of chicken broth, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon. Stir in the zucchini, thyme and peppers and immediately remove from the heat.
- Combine the chicken with the rice and chorizo/veggie mixture before pouring into the prepared casserole dish. Slice the chicken and combine with the rice mixture and chorizo-pepper mixture and add in the tomatoes. Bake until heated through and the bottom is crisp, 30 minutes. Add a splash of stock, about 1/2 cup, if the top of the casserole dries out too much.
- Meanwhile, season your seafood with Old Bay. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons EVOO in the Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and scallops to the skillet and cook 4 to 5 minutes until the shrimp is pink and the scallops are slightly firm. Add the lemon juice and 1/2 cup broth, then swirl in 1 tablespoon butter until melted. Add the parsley.
- Top the casserole with the shellfish and pan sauce. Divide among plates.
Cook’s Notes: Always buy seafood within 24 hours of serving.