A favorite dinner combo enhanced with Asian accents is a quick and easy weeknight meal. Karen Schneider photo

This week’s entrée features a comforting combination of two standard staples (chicken and rice) infused with fragrant, flavorful herbs and spices, and all simmered in one pot on the stovetop.

I recommend using homemade stock for this dish because it’s always best, but if you don’t have any of that squirreled away in your freezer, opt for a jar of bone broth. For even richer flavor, add a dollop of chicken-flavored Better than Bouillon to the pot. You can find this jar of golden magic in the soup section of the grocery store, usually on the top shelf.

And let’s make these glorified green beans as they work well with any Asian-inspired main dish. Fresh green beans are best, but you can also use frozen ones. Just thaw them first then blot them with a clean dish towel to remove any moisture. It will take a little less time to cook them, but otherwise proceed through the recipe steps.

This simple but elegant recipe also works great for fresh asparagus, with the cooking time adjusted to accommodate the size of the stalks. You want the asparagus to be tender-crisp before adding the sauce.

One-pot chicken and rice with chili and ginger

• 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, quartered
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 3 cups chicken bone broth or homemade stock
• 6 (1 inch wide x 2 inches long) slices ginger
• 4 large cloves garlic, halved
• 1 long green chili, such as Anaheim or Hatch, sliced
• 1 1/2 cups white jasmine or basmati rice
• 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, fresh ground pepper to taste
• 1 bunch scallions, sliced
• 1 cup cilantro, chopped
• Toasted cashews or sliced almonds (optional)

In a 3 1/2-quart Dutch oven or another deep, heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and brown chicken thigh pieces on both sides.


Add chicken broth, ginger, garlic and chili to the pot, and bring to a boil over medium heat, turn heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes. Increase heat to bring to a boil again, then add rice and season with salt and pepper.

Cover, turn heat down to low and cook for 20 additional minutes or until the rice has absorbed all liquid and the chicken is very tender. (Add a bit more broth or water to pot during cooking if needed.)

To serve, top with scallions, cilantro and toasted nuts. Serve with coconut aminos or soy sauce on the side.

Yield: 6 servings

Sweet and spicy ginger green beans

• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon fish sauce
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 3 tablespoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed or avocado oil, divided
• 1 pound fresh green beans
• 1/4 cup water
• 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
• 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 2 tablespoons plain rice vinegar
• 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
• Toasted sesame seeds

In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, fish sauce and soy sauce. Set aside.


In a Dutch oven or in a heavy pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium high. Once the oil begins to smoke, add green beans, and do not stir for 3 minutes or until they are browning on the bottoms. Add water and cover.

Cook until the beans are just under tender, about 2 more minutes. Remove the lid.

Move the beans to the edges of the pan, add remaining oil and stir in the ginger and pepper flakes. Cook for 30 seconds.

Pour in the reserved brown sugar mixture and cook for about 1 minute until the mixture has thickened a bit. Then take the beans off the heat. Stir in the vinegar and pepper, toss with sesame seeds, and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundy’s Harbor. You can reach her at iwrite33@comcast.net or 504-0545.

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