Recipe: Creamy Chicken and Rice (No Can Opener Required)

One of my goals for eating healthier is to try to eliminate processed foods.  Well, you don't get much more processed than a can of condensed cream of who-knows-what soup.  I reinvented this chicken and rice casserole without using any cans, and I couldn't be happier with it.  This is a quick and easy meal that you can feel good about.  As a bonus, the leftovers are even better than the original.

Creamy Chicken and Rice

1 package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 lbs), trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup long-grain white rice, uncooked
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 1/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of fresh cracked pepper
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Heat 1/4 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of salt into the skillet and add chicken thigh pieces.  Once the chicken is in the pan, do NOT touch it for at least a minute!  This will keep it from sticking to the pan. 

Brown the chicken on all sides and remove it from the skillet.  I usually do this in three batches, adding more olive oil and salt before each batch.  You are not trying to cook the chicken all the way through, so this step should only take 2-3 minutes on each side.

Once chicken is browned and set aside, add remaining olive oil and the onions to the skillet.  Saute onions until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute for another minute.

Deglaze the pan by adding the chicken broth.  Then stir the mixture to get all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Remove the skillet from the heat and add the sour cream, thyme, poultry seasoning, paprika, and pepper.

Pour uncooked rice into the bottom of a casserole dish and top with the chicken broth/sour cream mixture.  Stir to combine.  Spread the chicken thighs evenly over the casserole. 

Cover tightly with foil.  Bake in a covered casserole dish at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.  Remove from the oven, stir the chicken and rice, and bake for another 15 minutes.  Garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired.

Serves:  5 to 6

Serving Suggestions:
Serve this with a quick chopped veggie salad for a filling and well-balanced meal.

Approximate Nutrition Facts Per Serving (Based on 5 servings):
Calories: 304
Fat: 12 grams
Saturated Fat: 4.5 grams
Protein: 24 grams
Carbohydrates: 27 grams
Fiber: 0.8 grams


  1. That looks really good. I don't like "cream of" whatever soups, either. Too...gray. haha

  2. More color = more flavor! I have to agree with you there. I'll be trying this with brown rice soon to make it even healthier!