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Chicken Continental | www.tasteandtellblog.com

I have a confession to make, and I realize that I may be mocked or cast off from the food blogging world, but regardless, I feel like I need to confess. I like Rachael Ray. I never knew there was such disdain before entering the food blogging world. I know that many will say that she is not a “chef”, but I really think that what she does works for the average home cook out there. I consider myself to be one of those average home cooks. I try to make dinner every night, but it is on limited time and resources. I am working 2 jobs, trying to start a business, taking care of a husband and a dog, and still trying to manage to find time to take care of myself and my home. I wake up at 5 am every morning, and usually don’t sit down to rest until 8 or 9pm. I like shortcuts. I have been known to make a cake from a box mix from time to time, I usually use canned tomatoes, and I even have a few packages of Uncle Ben’s instant microwave rice in my pantry. I agree that Rachael can get quite annoying at times (why does she always say EVOO when she immediately follows with “that’s extra virgin olive oil? And just once, I would love to see her not ‘love” one of the foods she tries on $40 a Day) But I also find Paula Dean way too sugary-sweet for my tastes. But the biggest thing I like about Rachael Ray (and Paula Dean for that matter) is that she does make cooking easy. I don’t know anyone who has actually made a 30 minute meal in 30 minutes, but still, I have never seen anything that she makes and thought to myself – “that looks good, but way beyond my cooking capabilities.” I have met so many people in my life that resort to a lot of garbage – fast food, microwave pizzas, etc – because they think that they cannot cook. I fear for when they have children. I know that I can’t blame the whole obesity epidemic on fast food and microwave pizzas, but I know a lot of eating habits start at home. I’ve written about this before, but we never ate out when I was growing up. It was probably because we didn’t have a lot of money growing up, but my mother is a great cook and she instilled her talent on all four of her daughters (and even my brother!) At least with a home cooked meal, you know what you are putting into your body and it’s a lot easier to teach good nutrition. Not only do I find the food at home important, but I think that the time spent around the dinner table is almost more important. It’s a time to take time from a busy day, unwind, and enjoy the company of one another. It’s a time to discuss your day, and if you have kids, to find out what is going on in their lives. I remember always paying attention in church growing up because I knew my parents would ask each one of us what we learned in church that day while around the dinner table. You just don’t get that kind of conversation while eating at McDonald’s while your children are playing in the play area, or while picking up food from the drive through and eating on the run. Anyway, back to Rachael Ray. I like her because she makes cooking easy for the average person. If taking short cuts gets my friend that says she can’t cook into the kitchen, that’s what really matters. In my dream world, I would bake all of my own bread, have a huge garden for fresh veggies (and I would can some for the winter months) and my kitchen floor would be mopped every day. Hopefully by the time I have children, I will be to that point. But for now, Rachael Ray recipes will grace my table every now and again.

Now, getting off of my soapbox…..this is not even a Rachael Ray recipe – but as I was making it, I kept thinking that it seemed like something that she would make. It is a one pot meal, easily on the table in just over 30 minutes. It was really simple and pretty tasty. Not something I would make for company, but definitely a good weeknight meal. To go along with the chicken and rice, I found the most delicious Brussel sprouts for very quick side. Green Giant has these frozen in boxes. They are covered in a wonderful butter sauce, but are surprisingly low in calories and fat. I always keep several boxes in the freezer for nights like this one was.

Chicken Continental
adapted from allrecipes.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 c fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups instant rice

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large skillet, brown the chicken and mushrooms in butter and olive oil. Stir in the soup, water, parsley, salt and a dash of ground black pepper. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Stir in uncooked rice and simmer for an additional 10 minutes, or until liquid has been absorbed.

Now I just hope that all Rachael Ray haters out there don’t hate me!! But maybe a few others will come out of the closet…..

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8 Responses to Chicken Continental

  1. Kristen says:

    I like Rachel Ray too, for many of the same reasons you do. Anyone who gets people out of the drive through lane and into their kitchens is worthy of the “chef” title to me!

  2. Janet says:

    Hi Deborah, that looks tasty. I was just about to write to ask how you prepared those lovely shiny looking brussel sprouts… then I thought, maybe I ought to read the post all the way through first… Glad I did, that would have been embarrassing! :-) I loved your rant, I agreed with every word AND I’m going to look for those brussel sprouts!

  3. Freya and Paul says:

    Not sure if I’m lucky or not but I we don’t show Rachael Ray shows here yet (although Ina Garten is getting big airtime) but the dish you cooked certainly looks delicious!
    Besides, food should always be about that – food. If it tastes good, who cares who invented it?

  4. Cheryl says:

    I have always liked Rachel Ray. Its so refreshing to see a “real woman” on tv.

    My husband has a huge crush on her, but he just can’t stand who dresses her for the show now.

  5. JennDZ says:

    I like Rachael Ray too! In fact I wrote a post very similar to yours on my blog! I am sending you an email about the Foodie Blogroll!

  6. Lis says:

    Oh boy.. looks like I’m going to rock the Rachel Ray boat.. hehe

    It’s not that I don’t like what she does. Because I do. I’ve made quite a few of her recipes and I’ve enjoyed them.

    BUT

    It’s her persona that I can’t quite swallow. When she first came on she was a bit, shall we say, “meek”, which worked – she came across as a cheerful, cute gal who knew what she was talking about and impressed with good looking dishes in 30 min.. but now she’s this loud, boisterous, fake kinda gal.. I don’t know, maybe this is the real Rachel. I just can’t handle too much of her “bubbliness” at a time. lol

    ‘kay ya’ll can start throwing rotting veggies at me now. :P

    xoxo

  7. kat says:

    I’ll admit I have her 365 cookbook & I use it a lot for the same reasons…though I have to say her 30 minute meal thing just doesn’t work unless you can chop as fast as a chef or have some help! I often find her recipes need a lot more time to cook for vegetables to get tender enough or sauces to reduce. Also she must have a heck of an appetite because they always make a ton compared to the servings. That said I think there is nothing wrong with using canned tomatoes or chicken broth we are still eating better than McDonalds

    On the other hand don’t get me started about Sandra Lee!

  8. kellypea says:

    Deborah, I found this post going through your archived chicken recipes (I want to make some soup tonight and thought I’d look for a blog recipe…) and I loved it. Although I think Rachel is a bit perky for my tastes, I believe she is helping lots of young women who were not taught to cook as you say your mother taught her children. I’m a Martha affecionado. I think the woman is brilliant and I don’t care what anyone says about her. I used to work an ungodly number of hours a week as a school principal and could only cook on the weekends. I’d choose complicated recipes that taught me something new and lost myself in the preparation. I’m very fortunate to have an indulgent family! I’m no longer working, so have all the time in the world to experiment and explore, so couldn’t be happier. Although I should be working on getting more serious about making my own recipes, I’m content to try the thousands I have at my fingertips. And yes, on many nights (like tonight) quick is important.

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