This is one of my favorite meals from growing up.
When I was a kid, my mom used to make this with Cream of Mushroom soup which definitely made the whole mean super creamy and yummy.
Over the years, though, I’ve tried to make this recipe healthier by using chicken broth instead of the cream of mushroom soup and by using brown rice and barley instead of the white rice.
I have also learned to use chicken thighs instead of (or in addition to!) chicken breasts because the thighs stay juicier.
One thing Dustin and I like to do is “burn” the rice right at the end. To do this, just let the rice get nice and golden-brown and a little crispy, then stir and repeat. This makes the rice have some added texture and is really good, but is totally optional.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 6-8 chicken thighs can use breasts but they dry out more easily
- 1 tsp kosher salt plus more to taste
- 1 tsp ground black pepper plus more to taste
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 15 cremini mushrooms quartered
- 2 1/2 cups brown rice can use white rice
- 1/2 cup pearl barley optional - if not using, just use additional rice
- 5 cups chicken broth
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a deep skillet that also has a lid. Generously coat the chicken with kosher salt and ground black pepper. Cook the chicken until it is well browned on each side. Once browned, remove the chicken and place aside on a plate, reserving the pan drippings.
In the same pan, add the onion and cook until tender, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, rice and barley and cook an additional 5 minutes.
Add the chicken broth and stir well to combine. Place the chicken on top of the mixture, including any juices from the plate.
Bring to a simmer, cover and let cook approximately 45-60 minutes or until chicken broth is absorbed and rice and barley is fully cooked, stirring occasionally so as not to allow the rice to stick to the pan.