This recipe is super easy to prepare and great for your heart health as well! Using chicken breast along with a bunch of vegetables and no added salt make this recipe great for anyone looking to reduce their fat and/or sodium intake. Lots of dried spices and a little citrus added at the end enhance the flavors without salt. As an added bonus, the turmeric in the rice is a natural anti-inflammatory. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
By Brandon Foster, executive chef
- 2.5 lbs chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cubed
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
- 2 onions, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 ribs celery, diced
- 2 green bell peppers, diced
- 2 red bell peppers, diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 4 Tbsp paprika
- 2 Tbsp thyme, dry
- 2 Tbsp oregano, dry
- 2 Tbsp basil, dry
- 2 Tbsp celery seed, ground
- 1 Tbsp gumbo file powder
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1 15oz can tomato sauce, low sodium or no salt added
- 64 oz chicken broth, low sodium
- black pepper and lemon juice, to taste
- 2 Cups basmati rice
- 4 Cups water
- 2 tsp turmeric
Start by gathering all of your ingredients, and keep them close by. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Place a four quart stock pot on the stove on medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, add the canola oil and then the chicken breast. Cook the chicken until it’s brown on all sides, then add the onions, celery, garlic, green peppers, and red peppers (leave the zucchini aside for now). Saute the veggies and chicken and veggies for about five minutes, then add the dry spices. Stir the spices in well and let it all cook for a minute or two, until the spices become fragrant. Add the tomato sauce and chicken broth, and stir them in well to incorporate.Bring the stew to a simmer, and let it cook for 30 minutes to an hour, allowing the flavors to really come together.
Once you’re about twenty minutes from being ready to eat, stir in the raw zucchini. As a soft vegetable, zucchini doesn’t taste as good when it stews for a long time, so it’s better to add it closer to the end.
After adding the zucchini, place a saucepan or pot on the stove that is suitable to go in the oven. Add the rice, water, and turmeric to the pan, and bring it to a boil. As soon as it boils, cover it and place it in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
Remove the rice, uncover it, and let it rest for five minutes. Taste the zucchini to make sure it’s done, and once you’re happy with how your braised chicken is looking, remove it from the heat and season it with a little black pepper and lemon juice. The citrus will help enhance the rest of the flavors in the dish.
To serve, spoon some rice into a plate or bowl and top with a couple ladles of the braised chicken. Garnish with some fresh herbs of your choice if you like, and steam some of your favorite veggies as a quick and easy side to go with it. Enjoy!
Nutritional information per serving, including rice
*if no salt tomato product and low sodium chicken broth used
Brandon Foster began his life in the kitchen at the Best Western in Frisco, Colorado almost 18 years ago. His passion for ingredients and drive to learn technique led him down the mountain to Denver, where he worked in two of Denver’s most fondly remembered restaurants, The Fourth Story and Mel’s. He joined the crew at Vesta in 2005 as a line cook and became executive chef in 2010, focusing on getting back to the roots of cooking through charcuterie and seasonal ingredients. Ultimately, Chef Brandon’s career highlights centered on events like Plates for the Peak, Invest in Kids, and James Beard Foundation dinners where he could play a role in helping people in need- a passion that led him to Project Angel Heart in 2016. Outside of the kitchen, Chef Brandon enjoys spending time skiing, camping, golfing, and eating with his wife Larissa and their three kids.