Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Back of the Box: Minute Rice
I'm Chinese, and I think it's unethical--and quite possibly illegal--for me to make Minute Rice. So I was as surprised as anyone when I found myself standing in line for a chance to spin the wheel and win a prize from the Minute Rice booth at a charity walk a few weeks ago. Even more surprising was how embarrassingly giddy I became when I won a full-size box of Minute Rice, and all the losers around me just got refrigerator magnets and pencils. Ha!
I came home, put it in my pantry, and never gave it another thought, until today when I was trying to come up with a dinner that would not require a trip to the store. On the back of the box was a recipe for Parmesan Crusted Chicken. I have Parmesan! I have chicken! The only thing I didn't have was asparagus, but as it turned out, the recipe just said to serve the asparagus on the side. As if we can't think of our own side dish? Sheesh.
Parmesan Crusted Chicken
2 cups Minute Brown Rice, uncooked
1 can (14 1/2 oz) chicken broth, divided
1/2 cup water
6 butter crackers, finely crushed (double this)
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated (double this too)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tsp. oil
1/2 cup chive and onion cream cheese
3/4 lb. asparagus spears, trimmed
Prepare rice according to package directions, using 1 1/4 cups of broth and water. Meanwhile, mix cracker crumbs and Parmesan cheese on the plate. Rinse chicken with cold water; gently shake off excess water. Dip chicken in crumb mixture, turning over to evenly coat both sides of each chicken breast with the crumb mixture.
Heat oil in nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add chicken; cook 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until golden brown on both sides and cooked through. Place chicken on serving platter; cover to keep warm. Add remaining 1/2 cup broth and cream cheese to same skillet. Cook on medium heat until mixture just comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Simmer 3 minutes or until sauce is thickened, stirring frequently. Serve chicken over rice. Spoon sauce over chicken. Serve with asparagus.
Rating: Weird. This is the strangest back of the box recipe I've ever seen. It's just telling you to cook rice, and serve it next to other things. The chicken recipe really has nothing to do with the rice, and why tell us to serve it with asparagus when we might prefer peas, or corn, or beans? Seems like rice should be an ingredient in the recipe. However, nitpicking aside, the chicken was good, and the sauce was delicious, considering how easy it was to make.