As students with stacks of homework, finding time to cook is a challenge. Mix in limited funds, and the situation can become dire. This, inevitably, is when we turn to cheap and easy fixes; however, those often aren’t always the healthiest choice. Here lies the conundrum … what to make for dinner?
One night out of desperation I looked in the freezer and thought, “Hmm … What can I make today?” I found some chicken breasts and began to season them, but what else could I add? All of a sudden, I had an idea! I had a few jars of homemade salsa and some brown rice, so I covered the seasoned chicken in salsa and stuck it in the oven, then cooked the rice. When the chicken was just about done, I added cheese on top and let it melt. I added the chicken onto a bed of rice, and it was a hit.
The meal has become one of my family’s favorites. Now we make it all the time and it’s ridiculously easy. Not to mention that, cheese aside, it is incredibly healthy. It can also be made in large amounts ahead of time for lunches and is a great option for the slow cooker. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, and sometimes tossing stuff together just works out.
Prep time: 10 min.
Cook time: 45 min.
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 jar salsa, 500 ml (I used homemade, but any you like will do)
2 cups long grain brown rice
5 cups broth (vegetable, beef, or chicken)
Some grated cheddar cheese
Chopped green onions
Preheat oven to 400 F.
In an oven-safe tray, lay out the chicken breasts and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder on both sides.
Cover chicken with salsa and place in oven to bake 45 minutes or until internal temperature is 165 F.
While the chicken cooks, add the broth to large pot and bring to a boil, then add the rice. Bring to a boil again then reduce heat to medium-low and cover until the liquid is all gone.
When the chicken is done, add as much or as little cheese as you’d like and put it back in the oven until the cheese is melted.
Sprinkle green onions on top, serve chicken on rice, and enjoy!
Photography by Claudia Steele.