Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Burrito Bowls

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These chicken and rice bowls are amazing. Flat out amazing. There are a lot of ingredients and you need an Instant Pot (go out and buy one already! here’s another reason why!), but it’s totally, completely worth it. Thank you kitchn!

First, do your prep. The kitchn says to do it as you go, but I disagree. Because there are a lot of ingredients, I would rather be prepared than frantically chopping chicken and opening cans. So…dice up an onion. Mince a couple cloves of garlic (lately I’ve been using a microplane/zester and finding it faster). Measure out some chili powder and cumin. Open your cans of broth and black beans. Cut chicken thighs into 1-inch chunks, and season with salt and pepper. Grab the frozen corn, a jar of salsa, and rice. Shred some cheese and chop up fresh cilantro. Whew. Ok, take a break. Admire your work.

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Burrito Bowls

In your Instant Pot, heat some oil until shimmering, which means there are little ripples rolling in it. Or you can just time it to about 2 minutes or so. Throw in the onion and garlic, and cook until the onion is soft. Be sure to stir it occasionally so the garlic doesn’t burn. Stir in your seasonings and cook until it smells really good, which is really only about a half a minute. I mean it’ll continue smelling good, but don’t get distracted. Add some chicken broth, scrap the bits from the bottom, and simmer for a minute.

Add chicken, beans, corn, and salsa. Stir. Now the technical part: pour the rice over this. Do NOT stir. You might feel compelled to submerge the rain. Just leave it be. Trust me on this one. You’ll then pour some more broth over it, but again, don’t stir.

Set the pressure to high for 10 minutes and let it do its thing. Go watch the news. Actually, don’t watch the news. It’s super depressing these days. Go make a salad instead. It’s better for you than the news.

It’ll take about 10-12 minutes to come to pressure, and I have to say, I love it when Instant Pot recipes tell you this. Yes, it’s faster to cook in an Instant Pot, but when the recipe tells you to cook it for 10 minutes, it’s really at least double than that.

After the Instant Pot beeps, quick release the pressure and then carefully open the lid. Don’t panic when you see the rice sitting on top looking raw. I promise you it’s fully cooked. Just stir everything together, scoop some into a bowl, and top with shredded cheese and chopped cilantro.

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Burrito Bowls

The cheese is all gooey. The beans are all soft. The rice is all tender. Oh, deliciousness! What’s not to love? This one is a make again.

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Burrito Bowls

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Burrito Bowls

Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 15 ounces canned black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 16 ounces salsa
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, jack, or a blend)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro coarsely chopped

Instructions
 

  • Add the oil to the Instant Pot, turn on saute setting. Heat until shimmering.
  • Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes.
  • Stir in the chili powder and cumin. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add 1/4 cup of the chicken broth. Cook, gently scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen any stuck-on bits, and simmer for 1 minute.
  • Season the chicken with the salt and pepper. Add the chicken, beans, corn, salsa, and stir to combine.
  • Sprinkle the rice over the top. Pour the remaining 3/4 cup broth over the rice, but do not stir.
  • Using the manual setting, set the pressure to HIGH for 10 minutes. Close and lock the lid. It should take the pressure cooker about 10 to 12 minutes to come to pressure and begin the 10 minute countdown. When the cooking time is complete, do a quick release of the pressure.
  • Gently stir everything together. Divide between bowls and top with the cheese and cilantro.
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Kielbasa Fried Rice

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Fried rice is yummy and convenient. It’s one of those things you can usually make with your spare ingredients. All you need is some meat, veggies, rice, and eggs. Some soy sauce and garlic helps too.

So why don’t I make fried rice very often? Because I’m on this low carb deal and I’d have to make two sets of fried rice, one with actual rice and the other with riced cauliflower. I should try that sometime, but now is not this time. Instead, I’m going to run through this two-thumbs up fried rice I made the other night. I found the recipe on Bon Appétit, but it wasn’t in a recipe format so providing you with a recipe is my value add here. That and I’ll explain a few things because I have opinions and you’re reading this so I might as well share them with you.

The nice thing about this recipe is that you can use fresh rice. Most fried rice uses leftover rice, which you can still use, but I rarely have cooked rice around so I made some in my Instant Pot before I started.

Although this recipe uses kielbasa, you can use any protein like chicken, pork, tofu, or even a combination. Whatever you have should work. I purchased kielbasa because I wanted to follow the recipe exactly and I was not disappointed.

I sliced up the kielbasa and then the green onions at an angle (other than it looks fancier, I have no idea why recipes suggest this) and garlic. Again, you can probably use any type of onion. I was a little wary of not mincing my garlic, but it all worked out fine.

Kielbasa Fried Rice

Throw the kielbasa in the pan. Then, don’t touch it! When you brown the kielbasa, be sure not to constantly stir it around. If you do, you’ll end up with warmed up, bland meat. Blah. Searing the meat is key. You want to let it sear on one side before moving it around so it creates a nice, golden caramelization that adds a bunch of flavor to your dish.

Add your onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt, and then flip the meat over to cook the other side.

Kielbasa Fried Rice

Cook it until the onions are slightly soft. Add your rice, another pinch of salt (remember you are adding layers of flavors instead of dumping all your salt at the end like your mom probably taught you, if she even let me add salt, but that’s another story), a few splashes of soy sauce, and a pinch or two of sugar to add a bit of sweetness. Salty sweet. Mmmm… Mix it around.

Kielbasa Fried Rice

Now the fun begins! Egg time. Whisk up 3 eggs with a pinch of salt. Make a wall of rice mixture on each side of the pan and pour your eggs down the middle.

Kielbasa Fried Rice

Let the eggs sit for a minute or two to let them cook a little and then scramble them a bit. When they are cooked, mix the rice and goodies with the scrambled egg. Throw it in a bowl, squeeze some lime over it for acidity, and eat! Nothing’s easier than this for a delicious weeknight meal. So many flavors…salty, sweet, umami (a fancy way of saying savory) with that soft, sticky rice mixed with scrambled eggs…ok, I really need to take a bite to make sure it’s ok. Mmmm… Damn carbs.

Kielbasa Fried Rice
Kielbasa Fried Rice

Kielbasa Fried Rice

Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
  • 14-16 ounces Polish style kielbasa sliced 1/4-in thick, at an angle
  • 8 green onions thinly sliced, at an angle
  • 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3-4 pinches kosher salt
  • 2-3 splashes soy sauce
  • 1-2 pinches white sugar
  • 3 eggs whisked
  • lime quartered

Instructions
 

  • Make rice. While it's steaming, slice the Polish style kielbasa at an angle and about 1/4" thick. Thinly slice green onions on an angle. Thinly slice garlic.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the sliced kielbasa in the pan and let it cook without stirring for about 3 minutes until the underside is a deep brown color.
  • Add the sliced green onions and garlic to the pan. Add a pinch of salt. Flip most of the kielbasa to the other side and stir. Continue to cook for another couple minutes, until the green onions begin to soften.
  • Add the steamed rice into the skillet, a 1-2 pinches of salt, a 2-3 splashes of soy sauce, and 1-2 pinches of white sugar. Stir everything together so the green onions, garlic, and kielbasa are evenly distributed.
  • In a small bowl, whisk 3 large eggs and a pinch of salt.
  • Split your rice mixture in half and push each half to each side of the skillet so that a strip of pan with nothing in it runs down the middle. No rice should be in the middle.
  • Pour the eggs into the middle section of the skillet. Let the eggs cook for 1–2 minutes without stirring. Then, scramble quickly, scraping along the bottom of the skillet. When the eggs have cooked through, combine the egg into the rice mixture to distribute the eggs throughout the rice evenly.
  • Pour into bowls and squeeze a quarter of lime over each bowl.
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Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

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After reading an article about wild rice, my husband asked me if I could cook some wild rice for dinner. I completely jumped on the opportunity. You see, as much as I adore my husband, he’s not a foodie. He likes his steak. He likes tasty food. But he would be just as satisfied if he could skip the whole eating process. It takes away from his (gaming) hobbies whereas eating and making food is my hobby. So when he asked for wild rice, I was pretty excited.

I searched high and low for a tasty wild rice recipe. I was inspired by the weather. It’s been rainy and cold so therefore, soup weather. I decided on a soup recipe from Food and Wine. I stuck to the recipe, but if I had to do it over again, I’d leave out the cream. Don’t get me wrong, the cream makes it…creamy (duh). But apparently some of us do not like creamy soups except for clam chowder. And maybe potato and leek. Whatever. Let’s just leave it at that.

First, let’s talk about wild rice. What the heck is it exactly? Wild rice is a grain and distant cousin to white and brown rice. Like other rices, wild rice is the seed from a type of grass grown in Asian and the US, but not the same grass of other rices. It’s more common in the US and pretty healthy for you. High in fiber and protein. Full of antioxidants. That sort of thing. It’s nutty and chewy so seriously, it does feel like you’re eating a superfood.

To make this recipe, I needed 4 cups of cooked chicken. You can use a rotisserie chicken or any leftover chicken, but I didn’t have any so I cubed two large chicken breasts, seasoned them with salt and pepper, and cooked them until they were no longer opaque. I didn’t want to cook it beyond that because I knew they’d continue to cook in the soup and my family is adverse to dried out chicken. So picky.

While the chicken is cooking, I chopped my veggies. It’s important that your carrots and celery are the same thickness, about a 1/2 inch.

In a dutch oven, I melted butter and then added the veggies and seasonings.

Stir it until everything’s starting to soften, but not too much. You want the carrots to be barely tender or they’ll end up mushy at the end. Note that you will be cooking this soup for another 45 minutes. Add flour and cook for another 3 minutes. Add rice and stock. After boiling, bring it down to a simmer and let it do its thing for 30 minutes.

Your veggies will continue to soften and your rice will begin to cook. Add chicken and let it simmer for 15 minutes until the wild rice is tender. If you’ve never had wild rice before, here’s a tip. It won’t be as tender as other rice, but chewy and you can bite through it. At the very end (or not), stir in the cream. Add some salt and pepper, and then serve. This is a really hearty soup that will fill you up and not leave you hungry.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 celery stalks cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 carrots cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 ounces wild rice about 1 cup
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups cooked chicken cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream optional

Instructions
 

  • In a dutch oven (or large saucepan), melt the butter. Add the celery, carrots, onion, garlic, thyme and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables just start to soften, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring, until evenly coated and lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the wild rice to the saucepan and gradually stir in the stock and water. Bring to a boil, and then simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
  • Add the chicken and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the wild rice is tender, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Stir in the cream (optional – if you want a creamy soup) and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.
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Creamy Garlic Chicken and Rice

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If you are looking for a one-pan, easy weeknight dinner, look no further. This is the one. It comes from Tbps., but with a couple minor adjustments.

So first off, I was skeptical. How would the rice cook in time without overcooking the chicken? It all works, but I would try a few things differently in the future. Keep reading.

The recipe calls for chicken breasts. While this works fine, 33% of this household (1 out of 3 people…ha ha!) thought the chicken was dried out. 66% disagreed. Just to test the difference, I’d like to make this again using skinless, boneless chicken thighs, my current favorite cut of chicken. Regardless of what you use, you need a pound of chicken cut into chunks seasoned well with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

The recipe calls for cooking it until browned. I cooked it just under that in the hopes the chicken would not be overcooked in the end.

Throw in your rice and broth. After reaching to a boil, simmer for 20 minutes. Mine wasn’t ready. Too much liquid.

So I cooked it for another 5 minutes. The liquid should be mostly gone and the rice should be tender. The rice will continue to absorb the liquid so aim for what’s shown below.

Next, add the spinach. Make sure you’ve turned off the heat and removed the pan from the burner. You just want the spinach to wilt slightly. Don’t worry if you barely have enough room. In fact, I think it could use more spinach!

Mix it all up and stir in some cream. If you’re like me and never have cream around, milk works fine too. Dinner is served!

Creamy Garlic Chicken and Rice

Creamy Garlic Chicken and Rice

Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs cut into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup white rice
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk

Instructions
 

  • Toss the chicken with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Heat olive oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add chicken breast and cook for about 3 minutes until it's no longer pink on all sides. Add garlic to skillet and cook for 30 seconds more.
  • Stir in rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove pan from heat and place baby spinach on top of the rice. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Remove lid and stir well. Stir in cream or milk, and serve.
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