Fresh From Nancy's Garden

A Fun Place For Gardening Tips and Great Recipes

Middle Eastern Chicken & Rice

If you’re suffering from “Holiday Food Overload” right now and your New Year’s Resolution is to eat healthier or loose weight this chicken and rice dinner will help you do both. It’s loaded with tons of flavor but only 445 calories. Oh…and it’s really easy to make.

I found the recipe in Food Network Magazine and changed it up by using brown rice and adding wine and chicken broth, which probably added a few calories. I’ll give you the original recipe and you can mix it up if you’d like.
  • 2 TBS unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups basmati rice (I used brown)
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 5 cups loosely packed baby spinach (3 ounces)
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • freshly ground pepper
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 TBS almonds, roughly chopped


  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth

Chop the onion.

Melt 1 TBS butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.

Add the rice, cook stirring until slightly toasted, about 2 minutes.

Add 2 cups water, the apricots, cumin, cinnamon and 1/4 tsp salt. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, stir and cover and simmer until rice is tender, about 15 minutes. (If you’re using brown rice it will take about 30 minutes or longer).

Remove from heat and add the spinach–do not stir. Let sit, covered until wilted, about 7 minutes.

While the rice is resting, cook the chicken. Season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Melt 1 TBS butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden, about 3 minutes per side.

This is where I changed up the original recipe. I deglazed the chicken with the 1/4 cup white wine and 1/4 cup chicken broth. 

I covered it and let it simmer until the rice cooked.

This is what it looked like when it was done–and it was really tender. Drizzle with the lemon juice.

Gently fold the spinach into the rice. Thin the yogurt with 1 tsp water and drizzle over the chicken. Top with the almonds.

This is a great meal to start the new year!

And to all my readers at Stu News and around the world, thank you for all your comments and suggestions. 

Happy New Year! Here’s to a delicious 2014!

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