Tag Archive for Rice

Chicken and Shrimp Etouffee


Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday only comes once a year and this year I opted to celebrate by making a Chicken and Shrimp Etouffee recipe. I’d never made it myself but knew I wanted something that was a bit lighter than what you might get from a more standard etouffee, so I adapted it from this recipe. Although everyone doesn’t like seafood, I made this with shrimp as well as the chicken as they are super easy to pick around and that just means more shrimp for me!!

Level of Difficulty:Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 20min; Cook Time – 30 min

Ingredients for 4-6 people:

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup flour

1/2 jalapeno, diced

1/2 onion, diced

Yellow bell pepper, diced (I don’t like green bells and I did not want the color to stand out)

1/2 celery stalk, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups chicken stock

1T seasoning mix like fajita seasoning, southwest seasoning, or Cajun seasoning

1T sweet paprika

1t celery seed

1/2t salt

Green onions for garnish

1 1/2 lbs chicken tenders or boneless skinless chicken breasts

18 shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 cups rice

How to make Chicken and Shrimp Etouffee:

Season your chicken with salt and pepper or the same seasoning you are using in the etouffee and cook until just barely done in a skillet on medium-low heat. Set aside.

In order to have the time to devote to your roux, make sure you dice all your vegetables and measure out all your spices and chicken broth before you start anything else. Put the broth on the stove on low so it is nice and warm when you add it in a few minutes to your roux. Once your vegetables and spices are ready to go, start the water for your rice and have your 2 cups of raw rice ready to dump in the water when it boils. Now you are ready….

All good etouffee starts with an amazing nutty brown roux. Although making a roux is not difficult at all, you have to devote the time to do it, no walking away or checking a text message. Just stand in front of your pot and stir. If anyone asks you a question, tell them your busy and you’ll get back to them. Seriously, barring a catastrophe, don’t walk away!(I think I made my point).

Ok, in a large enough pot for all the rest of the etouffee ingredients, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Once warmed through, add the flour. Stir briskly to remove any clumps. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. You don’t want this to burn and you don’t want this to not cook long enough. You’ll know it is good when it is a caramel brown color.

Once the color looks good, add your veggies and cook until tender (you can stop sweating now over the roux).

Slowly add the chicken broth, stirring constantly so it incorporates. Add the seasonings. Taste and add any more seasoning as desired. Let simmer a bit until the rice is almost ready. Cut up the chicken into bite size pieces and add to the pot. Add the peeled and deveined shrimp, cover and cook about 10 minutes on medium-low until the shrimp is just cooked through.

In a shallow bowl, add the rice, top with the etouffee and the green onions and enjoy!



Change out the proteins to any mixture of crawfish, shrimp, chicken, sausages, etc.

Meal Ideas:

This was the meal although I added some steamed broccoli because it is good for you!

Got Leftovers?:

This tasted even better the next day for lunch!!

Pork Fried Rice

There are times when our days get so busy and crazy, it’s hard to put a nice hot meal on the table. I had one of those weeks recently where I was gone for work or activities 4 nights in a row. I was thinking about what I could easily make for my family that would still be good and nutritious, so I decided to make Pork Fried Rice. I did some planning ahead and steamed the rice and broccoli so it was easy to throw the rest together. The kids enjoyed it so much they took the leftovers for school the next day!

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 10 min. Cook Time – 20 min.


2 T. butter

2 T. olive oil

1/2 c. chopped carrots

1/2 c. chopped onion

3 eggs

2-3 pork chops chopped into small pieces

1/2 c. chopped steamed broccoli

2 c. cooked brown rice

soy sauce

Preparing Pork Fried Rice:

Heat olive oil in medium saute pan. Add pork and cook thoroughly, about 8-10 minutes. Drain. In a separate large skillet, melt butter. Add carrots and onions and saute until soft. Scramble eggs in a small bowl. Add to skillet and cook, stirring constantly. When the eggs are cooked, add rice, broccoli, and pork. Stir well to mix ingredients and heat through. Add soy sauce.

Pork Fried Rice


If you don’t want to use pork, change it up and use chicken or steak! You can also change up the vegetables you put in.

Indian Rice with spices and garden peas

rice dish

Rice is a great go to side dish for so many meals. I love it. But once again, my eyes were opened wider to a whole new realm of rice as a side dish after McNack’s spent time with Asha Gomez, chef/owner at Cardamom Hill restaurant in Atlanta.

Indian rice is its own star to the main meal. When we went to the market, Asha picked up some freshly shelled garden peas (field peas and lady peas) to add to the rice. But that is only a small piece to this beautiful, fragrant and tasty dish!!

See our previous post on our time with Asha here.

Level of Difficulty: Moderate Time Required: Prep Time – 5 min; Cook Time – 30 min


2 cups basmati rice

4 cups water

3-4 whole cardamom pods, crushed (I did not have so I used about 2t ground cardamom)

2-3 whole star anise (I did not have so I used about 1t anise seed that I ground in my mortar and pestle)

1 cup onion, diced

2-3 cups fresh ‘peas’ (Asha used lady, field and green peas; I used what I found fresh which was black-eyed peas and then added edamame and green peas)

2t cumin seed

1t tumeric

1T coconut oil

salt and pepper

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

A Mortar and Pestle to crush any whole spices you use.

How to Make Indian Rice:


In southwestern India, they rarely if ever just make plain rice. They always flavor the cooking liquid with something. In this dish, we are going to flavor the water with cardamom and star anise.

So, in a large pot, add 4 cups water, 2 cups of basmati rice the cardamom, star anise, salt and a touch of vegetable oil. Turn on high. While you are waiting for it to boil (uncovered), start the vegetables. When the rice boils, reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover. Set a timer for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, turn off the heat, keep covered (don’t look at it!), and let steam for 8 minutes.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 T vegetable oil and the cumin seed. When the cumin seeds start to sizzle, add the diced onion. Saute until golden brown.

spice rice

Add the peas and stir. Add the turmeric and sauté to desired doneness. Finish with the coconut oil and stir.

spice rice

When the rice is steamed to perfection, open the pot, add the vegetables and stir to incorporate.

rice dish

Delicious goodness!!

Important Tips:

Ignore the cooking directions on the bag of basmati. Do it this way and it will be great.


Use any vegetables, use any spices, change your cooking liquid from water to broth….Whatever you do, let rice shine!! It does not need to be that boring clump of white stuff on your plate any more!!

Coconut Jasmine Rice

Coconut rice

Ok, I know a lot of people are not big coconut fans, but you really have to try this. I don’t love coconut but I’ll tolerate a Samoa Girl Scout cookie and I love Thai curries with coconut milk in them. Well, this is right out of Thailand (I guess it would be, I’ve never been there).

Anyway, I saw this on the side of one of the bags of jasmine rice (a staple in my house, LOVE IT!). Just prepare 2 cups of jasmine rice according to the directions on the package. While the rice is cooking, heat 1 can of coconut milk and about 2/3 cup of sugar until the sugar is melted.

Jasmine Rice

When the rice is done, put in a bowl, pour in the milk, cover the dish and let steam and absorb for about 15 minutes.

Jasmine Rice

Serve as a starchy side to a spicy Asian inspired dish. It is shown here with Spicy Grilled Shrimp and Sautéed Rainbow Swiss Chard and a little homemade avocado and tomato salad. This was an awesome and really very simple meal!

Shredded Beef Over Rice

Beef with rice

Shredded beef over rice is great for a crowd. It’s easy, delicious, and not too expensive! I got this recipe from Bon Apetite many years ago! Have I mentioned what a fabulous magazine that is, especially for beginners? Anyway, shredded beef goes a long way and freezes well. You can use it later in fajitas, tacos, sandwiches…just about anything!  Rice is cheap and is great for sopping up delicious juices from the shredded beef. The amount of “hands on” time is minimal, which is great for busy moms and working women. You really can prepare the meat in just 5 minutes, brown it for 10 and be done! Most of the work is done by your dutch oven on low heat! If you have a good dutch oven there is no telling what you can accomplish in the kitchen!

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 5 min; Cook Time – 4 hours 10 minutes


1 4 lb. boneless chuck roast
3 tsp. fajita seasoning
2 T. vegetable oil
2 (14 1/2- oz.) cans Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
2 c. water
4 cups of cooked rice

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Dutch Oven

Preparing the Shredded Beef and Rice:

Rub both sides of the roast evenly with fajita seasoning. Cook roast in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until browned on all sides.

Shredded Beef

Combine stewed tomatoes and 2 cups of water; pour over roast. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 4 hours until the roast is tender.

Shredded beef cooking with tomatoes

Make rice according to directions.

Remove roast and shred using 2 forks. Skim fat from tomato liquid in Dutch oven and discard. Stir shredded beef into tomato liquid. Serve beef mixture over rice.

Beef with rice

Benihana Fried Rice

Another great find was the copy of Benihana Fried Rice in the newspaper. It was either in the AJC or the San Diego UT. Does it really matter? I don’t think so. It’s almost as good as when they make it at the restaurant.

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 5 min; Cook Time – 30 min.


1 T. vegetable oil
1 t. scallions, chopped
1 t. carrots, chopped
1 t. onion, chopped
1 egg
2 c. steamed rice, hot
1 t. butter
2 T soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 t. sesame seeds (optional)

Preparing Benihana Fried Rice:

In a skillet over medium heat, heat the oil, then add the scallions, carrots and onion. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add the egg and cook until it scrambles. Cut up the egg into small pieces. Add the steamed rice to the vegetable-egg mixture and mix well. Add the butter, soy sauce, salt and pepper to the rice and mix well. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve immediately.


Menu idea: Easy Chicken Piccata, Noodle Rice, Garlic Green Beans

Easy Menu IdeasMcNack’s Kitchen is dedicated to providing you quality, easy and healthy menu ideas. This one is fairly easy and can be done during the week (especially with the chicken shortcut listed in the piccata recipe).


Easy Chicken Piccata
Garlic Green Beans
Noodle Rice

Total Cook Time:

about 45 minutes

Shopping List:

6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
White Wine
2 Lemons
1 Bunch Parsely
1 lb Fresh Green Beans

Do you have this in your pantry, if not, add to shopping list:

Long grain rice
Vermicelli or thin spaghetti
Olive Oil (1/2 cup)
Flour (1 1/2 cups)
Garlic (4-6 cloves)
Butter (about 1 stick)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Pot of water to boil for green beans (will reuse pot for noodle rice)
Prep green beans while setting water to boil
Shock green beans
Prep skillet for chicken
Bread chicken while oil comes to temperature
Saute chicken
Make pan sauce for piccata
Slice lemons while pan sauce reduces
Put chicken in dish for oven
Prep pot for noodle rice
Saute noodles
Add water, rice, etc for noodle rice and cook according to recipe
Prepare green beans skillet with butter, oil and garlic
Remove chicken from oven when noodle rice has about 5 minutes left
Cook green beans
Serve it all and enjoy!!!!