Chicken rice with tomato, basil and mozzarella
- February 2023
- Serves 4
- Hands-on time 20 min. Simmering time 20 min
Viva Italia! That unmistakable trio of tomato, basil and mozzarella meets olives, peppers, pesto and chicken-infused rice for a bolstering midweek dinner.
For another easy dinner, try our coconut chicken rice.
- 29.7g (7.9g saturated)
- 79.6g (8.8g sugars)
- Olive oil to fry
- 500g skinless chicken thigh fillets, roughly chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced (optional)
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 125ml white wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 600ml chicken stock
- 50g pitted black olives
- 350g long grain rice
- 100g mozzarella, torn
- For the basil pesto
- 1 tbsp pine nuts
- ½ garlic clove
- 15g parmesan, finely grated
- ½ bunch basil, chopped
- 60ml olive oil
- Dash lemon juice or cider vinegar
- Put a large lidded saucepan over a medium-high heat and add a drizzle of oil. Add the chicken and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, then lift out and set aside. Add another glug of oil followed by the onion, pepper, chilli (if using) and garlic with a pinch of salt. Turn the heat down to low-medium and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.
- Put the chicken back in the pan along with the wine and herbs. Leave to simmer for 3 minutes until reduced by half, then add the chopped tomatoes, stock and olives. Turn the heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the rice and simmer for a further 10 minutes uncovered.
- Meanwhile, make a quick pesto by grinding the pine nuts, garlic, parmesan and chopped basil into a paste in a pestle and mortar (or pulse briefly in a small processor). Stir in the oil, then taste and season with salt, pepper and a dash of lemon juice or cider vinegar.
- Scatter the mozzarella over the rice, then cover and leave to gently cook for a final 5 minutes. Drizzle over the pesto and serve.
Use shop-bought pesto if you like – just loosen it with a little olive oil to make it easier to drizzle.
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