Chicken with Rice, Green Olives and Tomato Sauce

I’ve found that cooking white rice in the slow cooker is quite tricky—it gets either overcooked or not cooked enough. Here I’ve used brown rice, which seems to retain its texture better. In this recipe, I like to use canned, whole plum tomatoes that I’ve run through the food processor—I prefer this to canned crushed tomatoes. Also, remember to remove the skin from the chicken before eating to cut back on calories and fat.

1. Lightly coat a large, nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add 2 tsp of the vegetable oil. Dust the chicken with the flour and brown on all sides, about 6 minutes. Set aside.

2. Remove the fat from the skillet, wipe it clean and again lightly coat with cooking spray. Heat the remaining 1 tsp oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion and green pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes or until softened. Stir in the rice, puréed tomatoes, stock, olives, capers, chili powder, dried basil and oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Add the chicken, bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Pour everything into the slow cooker and cook on the high setting for 3 hours, stirring once halfway through cooking time, or on the low setting for 4 1/2 to 5 hours. Check to see if the chicken is cooked through and cook longer if necessary. Garnish with parsley or cilantro.

3 tsp vegetable oil
6 medium chicken thighs with bone and skin (about 1 1/2 lb)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper
1 cup brown rice
1 can (19 oz) whole tomatoes, puréed
3 1/4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup sliced stuffed green olives
1 Tbsp drained capers
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
pinch of salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley or cilantro

Nutritional Analysis per Serving

Calories 406
Protein 22 g
Fat 11 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Carbohydrates 44 g
Cholesterol 58 mg
Sodium 650 mg
Fiber 5.2 g

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours (high) or 4 1/2 hours (low)

Make Ahead: n/a

Serves 6

Nutrition Watch: One chicken thigh with skin has 169 calories and 11 g of fat; one chicken thigh without skin has 124 calories and 5 g of fat per serving. Go ahead and cook chicken with the skin on because it adds so much flavor; just be sure you don’t eat the skin.