Note: I found the best way to break the spaghetti into pieces was to hold 4 or 5 strands at once and use my fingers to break off 1/2-inch sections. I don't rinse the rice before cooking.
About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Easy Artisan Bread. You can also watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. She presently lives in Singapore as a freelance writer for Time Out Singapore. Check out her blog: shophousecook.com . Follow Yvonne on Twitter.
- Yield:serves 4 to 6
- Active time: 1 hour
- Total time:1 hour
- For the Chicken Rice-a-Roni:
- 8 pieces chicken thighs and/or drumsticks (about 2 pounds)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 1/2 ounces (about 1/3 of a box) uncooked thin spaghetti, broken into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 3/4 cups long grain rice
- 1 large bay leaf
- 4 cups low-sodium store-bought or homemade chicken broth
- 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the Green Beans:
- 4 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise
Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Working in batches, add half of the chicken skin side down. Cook until well browned, about 8 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plate, leave oil in pan, and repeat with second batch of chicken.
Pour off all but 1 teaspoon fat in pan. Add pasta pieces to pan and toast until dark golden brown, stirring frequently. Add rice, bay leaf, half tablespoon oil, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Stir in chicken broth, saffron, turmeric, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to simmer, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook, without stirring, for 12 minutes. Adjust heat as necessary to keep mixture at low simmer.
Remove lid and nestle chicken pieces into rice. Cover and continue to cook until rice is cooked through and chicken registers between 170°F to 175°F on instant read thermometer, about 10 to 15 minutes longer.
While the chicken and rice is cooking, make the green beans. In 10-inch skillet, heat remaining tablespoon oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add green beans and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook until just tender, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Season rice-a-roni to taste with more salt and pepper and serve.