A Childhood Favorite with a Twist: Italian Chicken

We’ve talked about one of my childhood favorites before and here is a nother one.

When I was younger, my mom would make what she called Italian Chicken. Basically she would take chicken, defat etc, cut into pieces and put in a baking dish with Italian Dressing, carrots and onions. Cover, put in oven, wait for chicken to be done (flipping occasionally if needed), uncover to brown and serve with white rice. Sometimes it got marinated ahead of time, sometimes not.

It’s really yummy and one of the few dishes that both The Bro and I could agree that we loved.

Last night for dinner I wanted something awesome, but I’m limited by my Pantry Challenge to what I have on hand. I looked and had chicken in the fridge that needed to be cooked and I knew I had rice on hand so I decided to make Italian Chicken!

But, I gave it a little bit of a grownup twist. Instead of white rice, I used brown rice cooked in chicken stock with dried mixed mushrooms and some sage for flavor.IMG_3084

When I was at Ocean State Job Lot one day I picked up some mixed dried mushrooms (porcini, shitaki, oyster and woodear blend) and have been using them for different things.  I know it might have been a risky move to buy and try these, but it’s worked out quite well for about $2. I had no idea what they were or how they’d taste, but I am glad I took that risk.

I’ll tell you a secret about them: They’re so easy. All you have to do is put them in some water (or wine or chicken stock) and wait  a few minutes for them to come back to life and they’re pretty much ready to go. Bonus? They’re quite tasty.

(I smash them up an extra little bit before I bring them back to life so that they go with the rice better, but you don’t have to do this part.)

IMG_3085I brought them back to life in some chicken stock, put them into the rice cooking in the remainder of the chicken stock and added a little garlic pepper and sage to taste.

At this point, between the chicken in the oven cooking in the Italian Dressing and the garlic, mushroom and sage smell coming from the stove top, I was totally ready to eat.

Chicken was cooking, rice was almost done, but I had one more thing to make. I needed to cook a veggie since I didn’t throw any carrots into the oven with the chicken and we know that veggies are important.

I found a bag of frozen mixed veggies in the freezer (carrots, peas, green beans and corn), gave it a sprinkle of garlic pepper and a splash of wine and nuked it.IMG_3087

Oh it smelled divine! (Can I say that at this point, I was so hungry from all the wonderful smells that I thought about just eating a sandwich and putting everything else in the fridge? I didn’t, but it was tempting! After all, I have those Sweet and Spicy Red Peppers to use.)

I didn’t though and waited patiently for everything to be done. This is what my plate looked like when I was ready to eat. Isn’t it lovely? It was DELICIOUS too.

Do you have a childhood favorite that you make with a grown-up twist? Or do you stick to tried and true things you know you like?

Have you taken a risk on a food item like these dried mushrooms and loved them? Or was it a risk you wish you hadn’t taken?

Do tell!


5 Responses to “A Childhood Favorite with a Twist: Italian Chicken”

  1. Italian Chicken and Brown Rice with Mushrooms « Cute~Ella Carries Says:

    […] Dinner was not only tasty, but it was pretty too! The How-To for Italian Chicken and brown rice with mushrooms is over here. […]

  2. Sue Says:

    I may try this soon. But – there will be a twist, cause I don’t eat mushrooms and I don’t eat cooked carrots. So, suggestions for what I can subsitute?

  3. Grace in Small Things: 2011-8 « Cute~Ella is… Says:

    […] Cooks A Childhood Favorite with a Twist: Italian ChickenSweet and Spicy Marinated Red […]

  4. Spicy Shrimp and Rice « Cute~Ella Cooks Says:

    […] Shrimp and Rice February 28, 2011 — cuteellaisbold Last week, when I made the Italian Chicken with Brown Rice and Mushrooms I was left with a LOT of left over rice.  I was thinking about what I could make with it from what […]

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