Creamy Chicken and Rice Florentine

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I made this for supper a few weeks ago and it was delicious. It’s also a great way to use leftover chicken, and it’s a pretty fast meal to make. I found this recipe while I was browsing the Food and Drink section at the library. It’s from Better Homes and Gardens’ The Ultimate Soups and Stews Book, though I made a few adjustments.

Creamy Chicken and Rice Florentine

Ingredients:

2 tbsp of oil to brown and cook the chicken
2 cups of shredded chicken (I used one breast and three thighs)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped mixed mushrooms (I used a mix of cremini, brown, portobello and shitake)
1/3 cup shredded carrot
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup of long-grain rice, uncooked
2 cups of chicken stock or broth (I used Campbell’s Chicken Broth)
1 cup water
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 cans of evaporated milk (I used the full-fat, but you can easily substitute fat-free)
2 tbsp all purpose flour
4 cups of packed fresh spinach
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
Salt to taste

Directions:

In a Dutch oven heat oil over medium-high heat and add chicken; cook for 12-15 minutes or until no longer pink and browned on the outside. Transfer to a plate and when cool, coarsely shred the chicken.

Once the chicken has been put on a plate to cool, scrape up any brown bits on the bottom and add onion, mushrooms, carrot, and garlic. Stir occasionally. Stir in rice and let cook for 1 minute or so. Add broth, water, nutmeg, and 1/2 tsp of pepper. Bring to boiling and then reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl stir together 1 can of evaporated milk and flour; stir into mixture in Dutch oven. Slowly stir in remaining evaporated milk. Cook and stir until bubbly.

Stir in spinach and the shredded chicken. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes (it will thicken upon standing). Stir in lemon zest and sprinkle with black pepper and salt to taste.

Serve with warm crusty bread and enjoy!

Notes:

I didn’t add salt until the very end, I find you control your salt intake better this way. When I add salt at the beginning of cooking, I always end up adding more anyway. Also, depending on the stock you use, it might be salty enough.

If you find your soup too thick, you can add some chicken stock at the end. We wanted ours thick and creamy, but if you reheat the leftovers, you’ll want to add some stock.

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