Saturday, June 14, 2008

Smothered Chicken and Gravy

1 cups uncooked regular long-grain brown rice
2 2/3 cups water
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cut-up whole chicken (3 to 3 1/2 lb), skin removed
2 tablespoon olive or canola oil
1 cup thinly sliced celery (about 2 medium stalks)
1/2 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin bite-size strips
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cups hot water
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Cook rice in 2 2/3 cups water as directed on package, omitting butter and salt; keep warm.

In 1-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag, mix flour, seasoned salt, thyme, paprika and pepper. Fill medium bowl with water. Dip chicken pieces in water; shake to remove excess water. Place half of chicken pieces at a time in bag with flour mixture; shake to coat all sides. Remove chicken; reserve remaining flour mixture in bag.

In deep 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken; cook 8 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides. Remove chicken from skillet; set aside.

In same skillet, stir reserved flour mixture into drippings; cook about 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture is light brown. Stir in celery, bell pepper and onion. Cook 4 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Stir in 2 cups hot water until well blended. Return chicken to skillet. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 40 to 50 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when thickest piece is cut to bone (170°F for breasts; 180°F for thighs and drumsticks). Serve over rice; sprinkle with parsley.