This is a one-pot dinner! Three cheers for one-pot meals! Credit for this recipe goes to my favorite gluten-free blogger and chef, Silvana Nardone. I took a cooking class with her ages ago at ICE in NYC where we learned how to make this dish and it has been one of my favorites ever since. The recipe has now been published in her 2nd cookbook, "Silvana's Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Kitchen." If you don't have this cookbook and need to be gluten-free, I highly recommend running out and getting it ASAP. Her recipes are spot-on. Although the recipe for chicken parm rice in the cookbook is also dairy-free, the recipe I'm sharing with you is not.
Gluten-Free Chicken Parm Rice, serves 4
- 2 TBSPs olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin (but not as thin as cutlets)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup GF flour or white rice flour
- 1 cup white rice, rinsed in cold water
- 1-14.5oz. can chopped tomatoes (I like Muir Glen)
- 1 cup chicken broth (be sure it is a GF brand like KitchenBasics or Imagine)
- 1 cup tomato sauce (homemade or store bought... for store bought, I like Rao's or Classico)
- 6 fresh basil leaves (you can used dried basil instead, but fresh leaves looks prettier)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella (make it extra cheesy and add some mini mozzarella balls!)
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a good heavy-bottomed pot. Add peeled, smashed garlic cloves. As oil and garlic heats up, prepare your chicken for cooking. Chicken breasts are so oddly large these days, I recommend thinning them out slightly before cooking this dish. Don't go too thin though... you don't want cutlets. Season the breasts with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Shake off extra flour, then add chicken breasts to the heated pot. Brown on both sides and remove breasts (and garlic if it is starting to burn) to a plate.
Keeping the pot on medium to medium-high heat, add rinsed rice to the now empty pot and stir to coat. How should you rinse your rice? I use my chinois and run water through the rice until it comes out clear. Alternately, you could soak the rice in a bowl of water, drain, soak, drain, soak, drain... until the water you're draining out is clear. Once the rice is coated, add tomatoes, broth, and a pinch of salt to the pot. Stir and bring to a boil. When the mixture has come to a boil, gently place the browned chicken breasts back into the pot. Top chicken with layers of tomato sauce, parmesan, basil, and mozzarella.
Cover the pot, reduce heat to low and let simmer for approximately 30 minutes. After thirty minutes, peek in the pot and test the rice & chicken to see if it is cooked. Depending on your stovetop and size of your chicken breasts, total cooking time can vary from 30-45 minutes. That said, this tends to be done around the 30-35 minute mark.
Serve hot with a sprinkling of hot chili flakes, sauteed spinach, and a fresh grating of parm. This dish does reheat well if you choose to make it in the day. Thank you, Silvana!