dirty rice bowls

Let's talk comfort food.  Hearty, southern, one-pot meal kinda comfort food. 

We're just settling into that long stretch between January and spring where everything seems to get all out of sorts. In January, everyone is ready for a fresh start, but February brings the evitable crash of our hopes and ambitions.

For the for one thing, the weather is a mess here in the Southeast. One day is bright and cheery with a high of 62, the next is drizzly and 32. Back and forth, up and down. Not helping things... People seem to be a bit of a mess too... moving, job changes, impending weddings, the flu, mid-semester blues... anything and everything stress.

I'm right there with them.  One fine January day, I was up at the crack of dawn and tackling my to-dos, the next thing I know I'm waking up at 7:30 with only have fifteen minutes to toss my hair into a ponytail and rush out the door.  Those "off" days (or weeks... or months), fraught with disaster, matted hair, and grim skies, can be brightened with a little bit of Louisiana cooking.    

Black-eyed peas, olive oil, and diced onions transform sleek, plain grains of basmati rice like a touch of sun livens up pale cheeks.  Warm chicken coated in Old Bay seasoning and baked quickly lends both flavor and heartiness to these saucy bowls of rice. The best part... This meal only takes 30 minutes to throw together. It's quick, nourishing, and simple... just the thing for an achy day.

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Dirty Rice Bowls

Click here for a printable recipe! 
Adapted from Cooking Light

1 cup brown asmati rice
2 cups chicken broth
2 chicken breasts
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning 
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon organic sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 14.5 oz. can of black eyed peas
Salt and pepper
Fresh Parsley

Prep Time: 15 mintues
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yields: 3 servings


1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Bring chicken broth to a boil and cook basmati brown rice according to package directions.  (The chicken broth gives the rice just a tad more flavor.)

2. Cut chicken breasts into long strips. Mix Old Bay Seasoning, paprika, salt, and sugar in a small bowl. In a large cast iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Sprinkle spices on both sides of the chicken strips.  Sear in oil for 3 minutes on each side.  Wrap foil around the skillet's handle and place in oven. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until chicken is cooked thoroughly. 

3. In a medium-sized sauce pan, heat remaining olive oil.  Add onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook for a few minutes.  Add cooked rice and black eyed peas. Saute for a few minutes or until rice is slightly crisp on the edges. Salt and pepper to taste.  

4. Plate rice and top with chicken strips.  Garnish with parsley and serve with a large glass of sweet tea.