Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Rice Bowls

Standbys: we have them for a very good reason. I have this teal dress from Target that is my work standby outfit. It is a cute but simple dress and I have the perfect accessories to go with it. Any coworkers reading this are probably laughing to themselves right now because they know EXACTLY what dress I’m talking about because I wear it all the time.

That’s because it’s my standby. It feels good on “skinny” days and “fat” days, with heels or with flats, paired with a cardigan or not. It’s comfortable. It’s what I wear when I’m running late and have to hustle to make the train or when I’m too groggy to make any sense of my closet. And yet, it’s a dress I would also wear to basically anything short of a job interview. I know it’s a great dress and I feel confident in it.

Chicken Broccoli Cheddar Rice Bowl

That’s kind of how I feel about this dish, too. It is easy to put together on a weeknight. It’s even reasonably healthy – it packs plenty of fiber and protein, and just a little cheddar cheese on top gives it a satisfying saltiness. And it hits the spot at the almost-end of a very busy week. And that’s why we made it this evening.

Here’s what you need for two entree-sized bowls, and a little extra:

2 cups cooked brown rice
2-4 Tbsp good olive oil (not extra virgin*)
1 chicken breast, cubed
1 small or 1/2 large white onion, diced
2-4 cloves garlic
Pinch of kosher salt
2 broccoli crowns, chopped into largeish florets
1 can water chestnuts
1/4 cup cheddar cheese

*Why no EVOO? Because of the heat used in this application. It is definitely a topic under much discussion across the internets, but most sources we see say that EVOO has a lower smoke point than almost all other common cooking oils, so it shouldn’t be used with high heat. We still keep it and use it for many other things, and use a different grade olive oil for cooking. If you Google it, though, you’ll see that there are many differing opinions, even among experts/scientists.

Heat the oil in a large fry or saute pan over medium heat and cook the chicken cubes until they are golden brown. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside, but reserve the remaining oil. You will probably want to add another tablespoon or two of oil to cook the vegetables. Bring back up to temperature.

Next, add in the onion, broccoli and water chestnuts. Sprinkle in a large pinch of kosher salt. Toss and cook until the broccoli is done to your liking (everything else will get done faster). Add in the garlic and replace the chicken in the pan just before you take it off the heat, and toss to combine.

Serve over brown rice and top with a little shredded cheddar cheese.

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