When you went gluten-free you probably had to give up many convenient side dishes like Rice-a-Roni and other flavored rice pilafs because most of these processed dishes contain gluten or Monosodium Glutamate, a food additive that many gluten-intolerant individuals are sensitive to.
I used to buy a lot of chicken-flavored rice pilafs before I went gluten-free. It was a delicious side dish that I could serve alongside some grilled chicken, pork, or fish or as an accompaniment to a light meal of sautéed vegetables.
After ditching the gluten from my diet I spent years of settling for gluten-safe unflavored white rice with a pat of butter on top. I wasn’t hungry but I also wasn’t happy. So I decided to come up with my own recipe for a gluten-free chicken-flavored rice pilaf.
This Italian Chicken Rice Pilaf recipe makes enough for two meals but it’s so delicious you might not have leftovers. But if you do, just refrigerate the leftovers and reheat them with a teaspoon or two of water to moisten the rice.
To keep the rice fluffy throughout the cooking I like to cook this recipe in a wide flat 12-inch skillet so that the rice doesn’t become mushy from the weight of excess rice above it.
Cook the rice in a flat skillet so it doesn't become mushy from the weight of excess rice above it.
This recipe uses granulated garlic for convenience instead of fresh garlic. Be sure to use granulated garlic and not garlic powder (which looks like flour) or the flavor will be too intense.
Granulated garlic is identified by its grainy, sand-like texture.
Italian Chicken Rice Pilaf
1 3/4 cups long grain white rice
2 TBSP vegetable oil
1 TBSP dried onion flakes
2 tsp dried parsley flakes (optional)
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp marjoram, dried
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp granulated garlic *
1/4 tsp turmeric (optional – this gives the rice a golden yellow color)
1 quart gluten-free chicken broth **
1 bay leaf
* Do not use garlic powder as the flavor will be too intense.
** Look for package markings that show the letters "GF" enclosed in a circle or the words "gluten-free" to verify the chicken broth is safe to consume.
12-inch skillet with lid
1. Add the rice and the oil to the skillet. Stir to coat the rice with the oil.
2. Add the dried onion, parsley flakes, salt, pepper, marjoram, Italian seasoning, granulated garlic, and turmeric to the small bowl. Stir to combine.
3. Add the mixed seasonings to the skillet. Stir to coat the rice with the seasonings.
4. Add the chicken broth to the skillet. Stir to combine.
5. Add the bay leaf to the skillet and submerge it below the broth. Cover the skillet with the lid. Heat the broth to a boil on medium-high heat then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
6. Simmer gently with the lid on until the rice is just about done (tender but still a little chewy) and almost all of the water is absorbed (about 20 minutes).
7. When the water is nearly all absorbed turn off the heat. Keep the lid on the rice so that it can continue to steam and absorb the remainder of the water.
8. When the rice has absorbed all of the water remove the bay leaf. Fluff the rice with a fork. Put the lid back on the skillet and keep the rice covered until serving time.
9. Refrigerate leftovers if necessary. Leftover rice may be reheated in the microwave with a teaspoon or two of water to moisten it.
For a tutorial on reading product labels you can purchase our cookbook Easy Delicious Gluten-Free Skillet Meals which gives instructions for determining if a product contains gluten or has potential to be cross-contaminated with gluten.