Braised Chicken with Rice

Warning – disgusting country life bit after the recipe… Read at your own risk.

I don’t have a slow-cooker – I did, a long, long time ago.  

To be honest, I never could get into doing the prep before I left for work….

Plus I never wanted to eat the minute I walked in the door after working all day.

I wanted to relax, maybe have a glass of wine….

As long as I was doing that, I figured I might as well cook.

I do like to do slow-cooked braises, though…. on my cooktop in my cast iron dutch oven. 

This is a classic French farm-house recipe. 

Find an older, stewing hen, if you can.  They have more flavor and the long cooking time will make them tender.  A roasting hen will likely be too fat to fit into most pots. A broiler/fryer will work as well.

Braised Chicken with Rice 

Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes 

 Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 onion
  • 6 medium
    carrots
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs cornstarch dissolved in 2 tbs water
  • Rice
  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock

Braised Chicken and Rice

 Instructions:

  • The Chicken
  • Chop onion.
  • Slice the carrots into 1/4″ (.6cm) rounds.
  • Heat oil in a pot or Dutch oven large enough to hold the chicken.
  • Add the chicken and brown lightly on all sides.  Remove. 
  • Add onion and carrots and sauté 5 minutes, just until the onion starts to get tender. 
  • Place the chicken on top of the onion and carrots.
  • Add the wine, stock and herbs. 
  • Sprinkle chicken with paprika.
  • Cover and simmer over low heat (you want small bubble breaking the surface) for 2 1/4 hours.
  • 20 minutes before chicken is done start the rice.
  • The rice
  • Using a small ladle remove 1 1/2 cups of liquid from the chicken.
  • Put it into a saucepan along with the rice and 1/2 cup additional chicken stock. Don’t worry if you get a bit of onion with the stock.
  • Cover and cook over low heat until rice is done.
  • To finish
  • Remove the chicken.
  • With a slotted spoon remove all of the carrots to a large bowl. 
  • Dissolve cornstarch in water. 
  • Turn heat up under the stock remaining in pot.  Add cornstarch and thicken.
  • Add the rice to the carrots and combine.
  • Spoon the rice and carrots onto a platter.
  • Slice the chicken and arrange on the rice. 
  • Serve, gravy on the side.

The maggots are back.

On the good news side of the equation we are no longer hearing the pitter-patter of tiny paws and the crunching of chewing jaws in the middle of the night.

For the last two months we have been periodically awakened in the wee hours to the sounds of mice busy being mice in the ceiling above our bed.

Mon mari then puts poison up there (he cut out a little hole and made a little cover for it so he has access) and the nocturnal disturbance stops.

Up until last week the mice were kind enough to go back to wherever to die.

Last week I heard one scurrying and chewing…. But slowly becoming less active until finally there was silence.

Great….

Apparently he ate too much poison and died before he could leave.

Well, we all know what happens next, don’t we?

First the smell – room deodorizer, open windows and open doors.

Second the maggots – tidying up, one could say.

I’m perfectly happy to have the maggots doing their job if they would just stay in the ceiling.

Once again I am finding them on the bed.  I think they come out around the beams.

Last time I was finding them for 3 or 4 days.

So far it’s been only the one day….

Still doesn’t make for a good night’s sleep. 

8 thoughts on “Braised Chicken with Rice”

  1. I get the country life. We are surrounded by a forest of trees at Lake Lure and critters are plentiful. Just part of the beauty of nature; but maggots would freak me out. I kind of like your attitude about the slow cooker. Although I use mine to great success, I love the puttering in the kitchen before dinner while enjoying that lovely glass of wine or two. Your chicken looks lovely. Hope it cooked long and slow. More time to putter.

  2. Could your husband put mousetraps in that little hole instead? You’d have the “snap!” to wake you up, but the mice could be whisked away before maggots appear.

  3. One tip of the mouse dies in an unreachable location – put freshly ground coffee near where the smell is, and all you will smell is the coffee. I learned that from a flight attendant one time – a baby across the aisle had thrown up and the sour milky smell was everywhere, until the flight attendant sprinkled fresh ground coffee on the spot!

  4. That is disgusting, can’t you have maybe an exterminator come and do something. Traps for sure, that poison that makes them go look for water and then they die. I couldn’t sleep thinking about those things (maggots) falling into my bed.

  5. I did not read the disgusting bit but I am a lover of my crock pot – I don’t use it over summer as I don;t want more heat generated all day long or all night but it makes many appearances over winter !!

  6. I sympathise with you. We have rats in the ceiling and garden and have been putting out bait for the past couple of weeks ( the sort that does not affect pets or owls as we periodically hear Giant Eagle Owls). Two rats died in the garden but the bait is still going and we are waiting for the stench and maggots to start. In our summer heat that does not take long.
    My cast iron pot bought at a vide grenier several years ago is in regular use when we are in France. I have an enamelled one here in SA, also bought in France in 1971. It is used frequently. A tip I learnt from the Chocolate&Zucchini blog is to put bread dough in a cast iron pot with a lid, place in a cold oven set to 230degC and bake for about 40 minutes. I have not had a failure yet!

  7. Val, I think we got lucky – none more sighted
    Penny, there are lots of pressure cookers on sale here, but not slow-cookers. Different mindset totally!
    Dan, he’s tried. the mice are either too small to set them off (we’ve seen them) or two big to get caught (something other than mice)
    Zoomie. good tip – thanks. I’d much rather be smelling coffee!
    Autism News – in a more civilized place that might work – or a more modern house. 300 year old house and barn…. not a chance LOL
    manningroad, I just don’t see them here – French women are into fast (pressure cookers) not slow ;-))
    Gill, living in the country, as we do, there is no way to get rid of all the critters…. Vide grenier – wonderful. Love the bread idea!

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