Sunday, January 18, 2015

Chicken Rice Pilaf for a Hometown Food #SundaySupper

Chicken Rice Pilaf for a Hometown Food #SundaySupper

Might I be nostalgic for a moment?

When I first married Mrs. Stuntman, my cooking skills were still in it's infancy. One evening when we were still newlyweds, I remember Mrs. Stuntman came home with some pre-marinaded boneless skinless chicken breasts which she dredged in breadcrumbs then sautéed and served with a side of Rice-A-Roni. It was a dish we enjoyed at the time so it made repeat appearances on the dinner table maybe once a month for a while.

I was reminded of this dish when I saw this week's #SundaySupper theme of Hometown Foods which has been hosted by Coleen of The Redhead Baker. I grew up in San Jose which hasn't distinguished a culinary identity from other cities yet so I chose San Francisco with it's iconic side dish.

The Challenge

Replicate the classic dish, but improve it with natural ingredients.

The Source

I was inspired by an article I found on bon appé with some influence from a chicken and rice dish I published two years ago.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup long grain white rice
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped


1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot to sweat, approximately 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, approximately 30 seconds. Add the chicken to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Sauté the chicken until brown and caramelized, approximately 4 minutes.

2. Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat the grains, approximately 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer until all the chicken stock has been absorbed, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Then remove from heat, fluff with a fork and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Cover and let it rest for approximately 10 minutes. Garnish with the parsley before serving it with your protein.


This has been an educational experience, to say the least. I wanted to sear the chicken before adding the broth because I was concerned it wouldn't cook through if I were to just poach the pieces in the stock, which I found is exactly the manufacturer of Rice-A-Roni suggests on their box package as an alternative. I know this because I prepared the box version a couple of nights after I prepared my dish. Regardless of it being full of artificial ingredients, I found it to be rather bland. On a side note, I was amused to find that, despite the jingle claiming the dish to be the San Francisco Treat, Rice-A-Roni is owned by the Golden Grain Company out of Chicago, which is a unit of PepsiCo.

Before you go, please have a look at some of the other regional foods from this week's #SundaySupper participants



Appetizers and Snacks

Main Dishes

Side Dishes


Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.


  1. I love Rice A Roni, it's one of my guilty pleasures, but it has never looked as tasty as this does! This looks like comfort food to the max!

  2. I am absolutely positive your version is much better than one from a box. Completely sure.

  3. This looks SO much better than the boxed stuff. Homemade is always a winner!

  4. I guessed San Francisco as your hometown!! Rice-a-Roni!!! I love that you updated the boxed version, this looks fantastic!

    -Julie @ Texan New Yorker

  5. Homemade is always better than processed. Great job.

  6. Count me in! I love your version of chicken rice pilaf and it makes me go hungry as I type this....

  7. I love that you made homemade Rice-a-Roni! This was a college staple. I will definitely have to try your recipe to create it for real!

  8. Ha! Used to love Rice-A-Roni. Of course I'm sure your tastes much better and is much better for you too! It looks fantastic!

  9. We were not allowed to buy Rice-a-Roni for dinner when I was growing up. We always made rice pilaf from scratch. And it looks similar to yours! Man does that bring back memories. Looks delicious!

  10. I never had rice a roni growing up either, I'm not sure why.. We always had a homemade version of it that my mom made from scratch. You version sounds really good.

  11. We never had Rice-a-Roni growing up but when I met my husband it was one of the things he made.. We haven't had it in years but this dish looks really good and so much better then the box stuff!


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