Southern grandmas are unmatched when it comes to making hearty meals to feed the whole family, and this chicken and rice stew from Bress ’n’ Nyam author Matthew Raiford’s nana is no exception. “As I wrote out this recipe, I remembered laughing with my nana while talking about leftovers and how much stock the bones of a whole roasted chicken made,” Raiford says. “Nana always had chicken stock in large mason jars in her deep freeze.” Raiford recommends serving this nourishing stew with freshly baked biscuits and honey butter to make it extra hearty.
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Tbsp. salted butter
Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
large onion, finely chopped
large carrots, peeled, chopped
celery stalks, thinly sliced
cup shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, thinly sliced
lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Tbsp. Diamond Crystal or 1¾ tsp. Morton kosher salt, plus more
Freshly ground white or black pepper
cups basmati rice
Tbsp. finely chopped marjoram
Tbsp. finely chopped rosemary (optional)
Tbsp. finely chopped parsley, plus more for serving (optional)
Heat butter and oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium. Add onion, carrots, celery, and mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Season chicken all over with salt and pepper; add to pot. Cook, turning over halfway through, just until exterior of chicken is opaque, about 2 minutes total. Add sage, thyme, 1 Tbsp. Diamond Crystal or 1¾ tsp. Morton kosher salt, and 1 quart water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until chicken is tender and cooked through, 30–35 minutes. Discard sage and thyme. Using tongs, transfer chicken to a plate; let cool slightly, then shred meat with 2 forks.
Return chicken to pot and stir in rice, marjoram, rosemary (if using), 1 Tbsp. parsley (if using), and 1½ cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, partially cover pot, and simmer until rice is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed, 30–35 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let stew sit 5 minutes.
Ladle stew into bowls; top with parsley if desired.