Chicken and Yellow Rice

I'm not the type of person to cook from prepackaged foods. I believe food just plain tastes better when made from scratch. There are exceptions though. Saffron Yellow Rice is one of them. My husband calls it yellow rice, I call it saffron rice.

A few years ago my husband said he wanted chicken and yellow rice. This required a usual phone call to Mom Pat to find out just what the heck he was talking about. With the instructions from my MIL, I take that little bag with all the precious saffron and rice in it and turn it into something amazing.  This is now one of my very favorite meals.

I am sure you could make what is in the bag at home, but since this is the only food I know of that I eat with saffron I'm not willing to pay a small fortune for saffron. These little bags are inexpensive (under $1.00 at most stores), full of flavor and go a long way. You will find this rice usually on the top shelf where boxed foods are and right next to other rice products.

What is saffron? It comes from the dried stigmas of the saffron crocus, it takes 75,000 blossoms or 225,000 hand-picked stigmas to make a single pound which explains why it is the world’s most expensive spice. 

Okay, on to the recipe. Or more the "how to." I really threw this together last night and didn't think to take pictures through the whole process.

Red or green pepper
Pepper to taste
Mahatma Saffron Yellow Rice (I've tried other brands and do not like them.)

If you are just feeding two people, a chicken quarter and half of a breast is plenty with one bag of rice. Last night I doubled it to make more for lunch today.

I put two chicken quarters and half of chicken breast in a large pot covered with water. You can substitute some of the water with chicken broth or add some chicken bouillon. Add pepper to your liking. We use more than most people do I think. I add a little salt if I'm using plain water.

*Time Saver* Use leftover chicken that you have deboned and chicken broth for the liquid omitting the water so you still get flavor.

I chopped up a small onion and two stalks of celery and cooked with chicken until the chicken was fully cooked. My chicken was frozen so this took a little bit longer.

If you start in the morning you can just turn off the heat and let your chicken cool to debone later. If it's late and you are rushed just carefully debone the hot chicken using two forks. Set the chicken meat aside.
Pour the liquid from your pot into a measuring container. I have a mixing bowl with measurements on it up to 8 cups. Don't be too careful and no need to strain, the liquid will come out first leaving the celery and onion in the bottom of the pan. Don't worry if you don't get all the liquid.

The package calls for 1 2/3 cups liquid. I bump it up to 2 cups per package. Pour the amount of liquid you need back into the pot. (Save the remainder for noodles or freeze for some other time you need chicken stock.) Add the rice to the liquid. Add chicken back in and chop up your pepper to add in. Red pepper is very pretty in the rice but green works just as well. Bring to boil, cover and reduce heat. Cook for 20-30 minutes until liquid is absorbed.

That's it. Super easy.  Serve with your favorite vegetable and some rolls and dinner is served.