Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bacony Chicken and Rice Bake

Chicken, slow baked over rice and bacon, in a flavorful cream sauce.

Bacony Chicken and Rice Bake

This chicken and rice dish is one of my personal favorites and a site favorite and it is awesome! Now I know that we've all had the usual condensed soup with rice and chicken bake, but this one is just a bit different. It's loaded with flavor from the bacon and seasonings ... I'm tellin' ya the rice is just over the top! You really gotta try it.

It's my adaptation of a recipe by Her Majesty Jill Conner Browne, THE Sweet Potato Queen, from her book Sweet Potato Queens' Big-Ass Cookbook (and Financial Planner). I love Jill, well first, cuz she's a Mississippian - matter of fact, she's from Jackson, our state capitol - but I think that I love her the most because she loves food. Especially bacon. And butter. In other words, she ain't afraid to eat! Gotta love a gal like that.

I like bone in chicken thighs here, and I wrote this recipe for only 4 of them for me and The Cajun, however, I sometimes do increase it to a 9 x 13 inch pan. You can use a whole chicken, large bone-in breasts, all thighs, leg quarters, or thighs and legs - pretty much whatever your heart desires, though I don't recommend boneless, skinless breasts. Here's what I do to increase the recipe.

Lay out 6 to 8 slices (or more) of bacon in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Sprinkle 1 cup of long grain, raw rice on top of the bacon. I do not double the rice. Add chicken on top of rice and season as in the recipe. I don't double any of the seasonings either. Mix 2 cans of cream of chicken soup, instead of just one, but still only use 1 cup of water, mixed with the remaining seasonings. Cover tightly with one layer of aluminum foil, repeat with a second layer. Bake as directed. This works out perfect.

It cooks low and slow so the chicken is falling off the bone tender, and it and the rice are so full of flavor it's a sin! One thing to note, especially if you do increase the size, and especially if you are not certain your oven is accurate - you may need to go longer on the time. Check the rice in the middle and if it is still not done, recover it, and return it to the oven.

Give it a try sometime - I just know you'll love it!! Here's how to make it.

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. We start off with that bacon. In a 9 x 9 square I used 4 slices, cut in half, but whatever pan you're usin' just make sure that it covers the bottom.

On top of that add 1 cup of uncooked rice. Yes. I said uncooked. Don't you especially love that?!

Now lay whatever chicken you're using on top of the rice. I don't recommend pulling the skin off of the chicken - I think it really needs to stay on there to flavor the dish, but you can certainly pull it off when you eat it.

Now sprinkle the chicken with a bit of salt and pepper.

And some paprika and Cajun seasoning - to taste - a lot or a little, however much you like.

Now in a separate bowl, dump in one can of cream of chicken soup. Yes, you can use the reduced fat version if ya like. Add a cup of water to that. Then add a sprinkle of garlic salt, a pinch of nutmeg, 1 teaspoon of oregano, and a palmful of dried parsley.

Whisk that all together real good.

And pour it all over the top of the chicken - don't stir anything up though!

Cover tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil or use a double layer of regular foil, adding one layer and sealing it, then another layer and sealing it separately. Put it in the upper or middle level of your oven at 300 degrees F and bake for 2 hours and don't check on it, don't peek at it, just leave it to cook.

Now you might be thinking you'll up the temp and go for a shorter cooking time. Don't do it. You'll end up having to cook it this long anyway for the rice to be cooked and then you'll burn up your bacon. Ask me how I know. This might work for the crockpot, though I can't attest to the success of that either since I've not done it that way. Cooking the chicken itself would probably work fine, but since the bacon in this baked version crisps up in the bottom of the baking dish, so that you get bits and pieces of it as you scoop out the rice, I'm not sure how that would work out in a crockpot. I've also never had much success with rice in a crockpot either. This dish is so good just as it is written, that I'm of the thinkin' that if it ain't broke, don't go tryin' to fix it!

After 2 hours (or a little bit longer if you double this), carefully uncover, check the rice in the center to see if it is cooked through. If not, cover it back up and let it cook a little bit longer. When it's ready, smell the wonderful goodliness of it and serve it up. Be sure to scoop down into that rice and snag some of that bacon when you plate it though for sure!!

Doesn't that look so good? It is just so melt-in-your-mouth-tender and loaded with flavor that I swear you are gonna pick that bone up and just chew it dry!!

And the rice. Oh my goodness, the rice. It is just so delicious you will roll your eyes back in your head. I swear I could just eat a whole plate of the rice!!! Hope you like it too - now go make some and let me know what you think.

For more of my favorite chicken recipes, visit my page on Pinterest!

If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!


Recipe: Bacony Chicken and Rice Bake

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 2 hours

Total time: 2 hour 10 min
Yield: About 2-4 servings

  • 4 slices thin bacon, cut in half
  • 1 cup long grain, uncooked rice
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • Couple pinches Kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper grinder
  • Couples shakes paprika
  • Couple dashes Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup water
  • Sprinkle garlic salt
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons dried parsley

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Cut 4 slices of bacon in half and layer them on the bottom of a 9 x 9 inch baking dish. Pour the rice on top. Add the chicken over the rice and season with the salt, pepper, paprika, and Cajun seasoning. In a separate bowl add the cream of chicken soup, water, garlic salt, nutmeg, oregano, and parsley and whisk together well. Pour over the chicken. Cover tightly with heavy duty foil, or add one layer of regular aluminum foil, seal tight and repeat with a second layer. Bake in the middle or upper part of your oven, at 300 degrees F for 2 hours - without peeking!

Cook's Notes: If you're thinking of this as a traditional chicken and rice dish with crispy skin, this is not that. This is a covered baked chicken. Okay to use lower fat cream soups, however, do not use a thick cut bacon. Use a regular thin sliced bacon for best results, however the bacon is primarily for flavor and generally will not be crisp. You may parcook it if you like. If you use the recipe as is in a 9 x 9, but only white meat chicken pieces, and especially boneless, skinless breasts, I would also suggest adding some chicken broth to make up for the fat loss/moisture from the dark meat.

How to Double: This is what I do. Use 6 or more slices of bacon in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Sprinkle 1 cup (I do not double the rice) of long grain, raw rice on top of the bacon and add chicken on top of rice. Season as above in the recipe text. Mix 2 cans of cream of chicken soup, with 1 cup of water and remaining seasonings and pour over top. Cover tightly with one layer of aluminum foil, add a second layer of foil and seal tight. Bake at 300 degrees F for 2 hours.

Tip: A reader passed this tip on to me and I think it's a great idea. When you mix up the soup, reserve about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the soup mix. Mix all of the rice with the remaining soup mix and pour over the bacon. Add the meat on top, then pour the reserved soup all over the top of the meat. This helps to ensure that the rice is cooked through and flavored well. Thanks CW!


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Posted by on March 5, 2009
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