When I was 12 or 13 I decided to cook dinner one night for the family. I’d been eyeballing a recipe off the back of a Rice-A-Roni box. It was some sort of Mexican Chicken Rice. I can’t lie – the family was less than impressed as, while the chicken was cooked, the rice was still a bit crunchy. Over the years, I’ve come up with plenty of Rice-A-Roni “cheaters” but this one harkens back to the idea of a one-pot chicken dinner (minus the crunch). Best of all, this dish is prepared without the use of a mystery seasoning packet.
Chicken and Rice With Asparagus
8-10 chicken drumsticks
2 tablespoons high-heat oil
½ cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
One bundle asparagus, rinsed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 ½ cups rice
3 cups water
½ cup freshly grated Romano cheese
Remove asparagus ends and dice, reserving tops for later.
Sprinkle chicken with seasoning salt and black pepper. Preheat a large skillet to medium heat (around 375 degrees). Heat oil in pan. Cook chicken for 7 minutes or until golden. Flip and cook another 5 minutes or until golden. Remove drumsticks to a plate and let rest, reserving oil and drippings in pan.
Stir in onion, garlic and asparagus ends into the oil/drippings. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and edges begin to brown. Stir in rice and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until rice begins to brown. Stir in water, salt, black pepper, onion powder and parsley.
Raise heat to high and bring to a full rolling boil. Stir and reduce heat to low. TASTE LIQUID and adjust to taste. Put drumsticks back in pan, cover and cook for around 40 minutes. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, put asparagus tops in pan and cover.
Once chicken is done, sprinkle with ½ cup Romano cheese and let rest around 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!