This is a comfort-food dish, basic, healthy, and tasty. It takes only about 10 minutes to prepare, and then about 1 1/2 hours to cook in the oven. I make this recipe when I don’t have much time for cooking, but I am home–like this last week when I wanted to study for the women’s Bible study.
I also will make the disclaimer that I use basmati rice, so you might have to tweak this if you use normal rice. I was not a rice lover until I met basmati rice. Now I love rice (if it’s basmati)! Basmati is a lighter rice. With normal rice, there seems to be a one-second difference for me between cooking it too long and making it sticky and mushy, and not cooking it long enough and thus making it woody. I still have that problem a bit with basmati, but it doesn’t matter. It tastes great! There are many Indians in South Africa, so it is easy to find an Indian shop selling basmati rice cheap.
Also, since this is a sort-of homemade recipe, you can adjust the size to what your family needs.
For us, I use a lightly greased 15×10 pan, and lay 2 1/2 cups of rice in the bottom. On top of that I place a couple of handfuls of frozen green beans. No need to defrost. (If you’re not a veggie lover, don’t worry! You can’t even taste them in this dish! So good.)
On top of that, I lay chicken pieces (much easier if defrosted!) I use 6 chicken thighs, because they’re uniform in size. I also cut off the fat of 3-4 pieces, otherwise the dish gets a little too fatty for my tastes. But if you cut off the fat of all of the pieces, it’s not flavorful enough in my opinion.
I sprinkle a bit of chicken spice, salt, and pepper over the chicken pieces.
It should look like this:
Then I combine one dry soup packet Cream of Mushroom soup with one dry soup packet of Cream of Chicken soup and 5 (and maybe an extra 1/4 cup) cups of water. (If you used less rice, you would use less water. Just double the amount of water to the amount of rice. If you make a larger dish than this, you might want an extra soup packet for more flavor.) Pour it over the items in your pan.
Place tin foil over your pan and bake in your oven for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes at about 350 degrees. After 30 minutes, check it. You will probably need to stir it a bit. Try to keep the chicken pieces on top though. Bake again. I remove the foil after about 45 minutes, but you can do whatever works for you. I keep it in the oven until the chicken is done. If you feel you need to add a little water for the rice, you can do that after about 45 minutes, once you see if it needs more.
The first time I made this, the rice was a little tough on the top, and the chicken took forever to get done. But I persevered and kept tweaking, and it really is a tasty, easy dish, if you can get the right mixture of water to rice!