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October 29, 2015

One Pot Portuguese Chicken and Rice

Post by heartfoodie

30 minutes, one pot and less than 400 calories. Need I say more? This recipe is stupid simple to make, extremely delicious and tastes even better the next day. The spice blend is Portuguese-inspired (and also mama-inspired as she loves adding cinnamon to stews). Deciding to use one pot was inspired by being lazy. Ha. Mama always made these types of dishes using chicken thighs, but I decided on chicken breasts because they have less fat and are easier to eat.  Now to the good part.

Why is this good for you?

  1. Brown rice vs. white rice. Use brown rice people! It’s whole grain, enriched with fatty clearing fiber and cancer-fighting antioxidants.  It has less sugar than white rice and can help to normalize blood sugar levels.  Bottomline, it’s better for you.
  2. Chicken breast vs. thigh. Chicken thighs are higher in saturated fat and sodium.  Try to enjoy more white meat than dark meat in your diet, it’s healthier for you. I’m not a fan on eliminating foods from our diets. Eat chicken thighs in moderations, eat well and be happy at the same time. Crazy thought, right?

Skip ahead to the nutritional facts and printer-friendly version of this recipe.


3 chicken breasts (skinless, boneless)
3 tsp canola oil
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
2 smashed garlic cloves
1/2 finely chopped white onion
2 finely chopped celery stalks
2 finely chopped carrots
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup brown rice
2 cup vegetable broth (no sodium)
2 tbsp fresh, chopped parsley
serve with fresh lemon wedges
salt and pepper to taste

9 Easy Steps (Instructions):

Step 1: Cut chicken breasts into large chunks.

Step 2: In a glass bowl, mix 2 tbsp canola oil, paprika, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, chili powder, black pepper and salt.

Step 3: Add chicken breasts to the bowl and toss to coat evenly with marinade. You can leave to marinade for a few hours in the fridge.

Step 4: Heat large pot on the stovetop over medium-high. Add chicken breasts. Sear each side for 1-2 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pot and set aside.

Step 5: In the same pot, heat 1 tsp olive oil. Add onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent, approximately 2-3 minutes. If the pan gets too dry, add a few tablespoons of vegetable broth, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pot.

Step 6: Add rice and bay leaf, stir until vegetables are fully incorporated.

Step 7: Add tomato paste, remaining vegetable broth and the cooked chicken. Stir and bring to a bowl. Reduce to simmer. Cover and let it cook for 15-25 minutes or until rice is cooked.

Step 8: Before serving add parsley.

Step 9: Enjoy with freshly squeezed lemon.