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Dinner Tonight: Lemon Chicken with Rice

We all have our food we crave when sick, and more often than not, it involves chicken in some form. Something about chicken is comforting. Maybe it's the appealing, non-aggressive flavor. Or its status as an everyday protein. Or, it could be the brothy richness of stock, as more often than not chicken soup is what tops many lists.

Whatever it is, I was laid up with the flu last week and wanted nothing but this to eat. It's not a chicken soup, but good chicken stock is integral to all parts of it—as the main liquid which forms the base of the sauce, and as the cooking liquid for the rice.

Rather than a traditional milk-only bechamel sauce, this recipe calls for chicken stock to make up to two-thirds of the liquid, which makes the sauce less gummy and thick and more soupy and rich. It's a bit of a gravy-and-bechamel hybrid. Lemon juice imbues it with brightness, while a pinch of cayenne and nutmeg round out the flavors. I threw peas into this batch but they're not required. I also used brown basmati rice because it was in the pantry.

About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. He is currently living for the year in Tartu, Estonia.

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