I know that by springtime most people think that we should be done with casseroles and one-pot dishes. But even in May there is occasionally a chilly, dreary day where nothing quite fills the bill like a good casserole.
One such dish that I like a lot this time of year is Rachael Ray’s Lemon Chicken and Leek Rice Pilaf. It’s light, bright from the lemon juice, and comforting.
It’s also a handy one to have in your repertoire, because it’s one of those dishes that can be either more or less intensive, depending on how much time and commitment you want to invest. You can either poach a chicken for the meat and broth, or you can pick up a fully cooked grocery-store bird and use a bit of boxed stock. Both ways work and will result in a delicious Weekender.
Before you start cooking, read these tips:
— The recipe calls for you to use some broken linguine. I had a tiny bit of orzo left over from another project and it worked just as well.
— Before you add the leeks, make sure to wash them really well, as they are known dirt trappers.
— We ate this dish with some steamed broccoli on the side, but you could also chop and roast some asparagus and stir it right in.
Marisa McClellan is a food writer and canning teacher who lives in Center City Philadelphia. Find more of her food (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) at her blog, Food in Jars. Her second cookbook, Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces, is now available.