Rice with chicken and mushrooms | Romanian pilaf
One of our most popular traditional Romanian recipes that contain rice is called pilaf. I would say that it is a bit similar to risotto, but we don’t add any butter or wine to it. Another difference would be the fact that we like to cook the rice until it’s soft – with risotto, you would normally stop cooking it when it’s still al dente.
I always use chicken stock to cook the rice, some recipes say that you can just use water. It is definitely better to use chicken stock, the savor of the chicken will be absorbed by the rice, and the flavors will combine nicely.
We make chicken rice with mushrooms all the time at home – it’s hearty, healthy, and full of nutrients. Besides the mushrooms, I also like to add a few slices of carrot to the dish, which has been previously cooked in the chicken stock. Always remember to garnish it with parsley – it goes great with the combination of chicken, mushrooms and rice.
In my family, my grandmother and my mother always prepared this chicken rice when I was a kid. The only thing was that I would not eat any other part of the chicken than the breast. I hated anything that contained chicken thighs, which were fattier. I didn’t even want to hear about any other chicken parts.
Well, when I discovered that I have a passion for cooking, I found out that using only chicken breast for this pilaf just won’t do. You need a bit of fat to make the rice look and taste good, it really enhances all the flavors that come together in this healthy dish. If you are picky like I was as a kid, just go for it and simply use plain chicken breast.
Luckily for me, now I use both chicken thighs and chicken breast – I get to eat my favorite chicken part, and my fiancé eats the rest. 😊
1 chicken breast
2 chicken thighs
10 champignon mushrooms
350 g rice (1.8 cup)
60 g (4 tablespoons) oil
1 bunch parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium pot, bring to a boil the chicken breast, chicken thighs, one carrot and one onion. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through.
- Take the chicken parts out of the pot and dry them with a paper towel. Cut the carrot into slices and discard the onion. Keep the chicken stock – we’ll add it later.
- Heat 30 g (2 tablespoons) oil in a pan, and add one chopped onion. Cook it until it’s translucent.
- Add the chicken and cook it for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the rice and cook it for 2-3 minutes, until it gets a bit translucent.
- Start adding the chicken stock to the rice. Add about 2 ladles at a time, so that the rice is always covered completely in stock.
- Repeat step 6 until the rice is cooked through. If you’re not sure, just take one rice grain and see if it’s soft enough.
- Add the salt and pepper.
- In a separate pan, cook the mushrooms in 30 g (2 tablespoons) oil, until they are browned.
- Add mushrooms and the chopped carrot to the chicken rice.
- Garnish the chicken rice with mushrooms with chopped parsley and enjoy!