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Savory Chicken & Rice Bake

Remarkably pungent, this Savory Chicken and Rice Bake boasts fresh rosemary, oregano, celery, and garlic to make your kitchen smell like heaven. The chicken comes out moist and tender, steamed on a bed of fluffy brown rice and rosemary sprigs. The ideal utensil for this dish is a cast iron Dutch oven that can be placed in the oven and has a tight-fitting lid, or a pressure cooker; however, a casserole dish will do, provided you seal the top with foil.
Savory Chicken and Rice Bake

1 1/2 cups brown rice (Basmati)

1/2 cup wild rice

1 can beef broth + water to make 2 1/3 cups liquid (1 cup water)

1 cup (2 large stalks) celery, diced

cup finely minced shallots (2 large)

1 clove garlic, pressed

2 tsp dried oregano

several sprigs of fresh rosemary

1 tsp salt

crushed peppercorns

olive oil to cover pan

8-10 chicken thighs, browned on grill

1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

large cast iron Dutch oven with lid or pressure cooker

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Preheat oven to 275-325° F.  Toast the brown rice in the oven at 275° F for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Brown the chicken on a grill.  Sauté shallots & garlic in a cast iron Dutch oven on the stove until transparent; add celery & continue to sauté. 

Add salt, pepper, oregano, rosemary, and rice and stir for a few minutes, then add liquid and stir again.  Place chicken on top; deglaze grill by scraping with a wooden spatula to remove browned juices; add the sticky golden stuff to the liquid in the pot.  Cover and place in the oven for approximately 1 hour, or until rice is cooked.

Remove from oven.  Chicken should be moist and tender, embedded in the rice.  Transfer to a serving dish or casserole; sprinkle with toasted slivered almonds. Serve with a full-bodied white wine or light red wine, like Traminer-Reisling or Rioja.

Uncooked rice
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