PUMPKIN RICE STUFFED CHICKEN BREAST

It is the start of September which means it’s the unofficial start of fall.  Cue all thing fall, such as pumpkin patches, hay rides, apple picking and the cooler weather.   September is also National Rice Month and in celebration of that I’m sharing a brand new rice recipe using Zatarain’s Rice to make the best Pumpkin Rice Stuffed Chicken Breast.   It should come as no surprise that I’m a lover of rice if you’re a long time follower of this blog.  I’ve shared many rice recipes and Spinach and Dried Shrimp Pilaf, Golden Vegetable Rice, Rice and Peas, Split Peas Rice and Shrimp and Pineapple Fried Rice are some of my favorites.

Growing up in a rice producing country meant that we ate rice every single day.  Rice is a staple in every Guyanese household and every dish was centered on rice.   It was _______ and rice – fill in the blank with your favorite stew.  While I no longer live in Guyana, rice is still a huge part of my diet and I also cook rice almost daily so I’ve passed down my love for rice to my children.  I still remember vividly when we would feed our chickens the rice still wrapped in its brown casing.  I remember passing the flooded rice fields on the West Coast of Demerara with the swaying coconut trees and Atlantic Ocean in the backdrop.  My love for rice keeps me connected to culture and reminds me of my childhood in Guyana. 

I grew up eating mostly savory pumpkin dishes, with the exception of my Pumpkin Tarts, so I tend not to think of pumpkin just in dessert form.   I combined my love for all things fall with my love for rice and created this Pumpkin Rice Stuffed Chicken Breast.   Zatarian’s Yellow Rice mix was the perfect addition to my pumpkin rice stuffing.  I combined the yellow rice mix with fresh pumpkin, garlic, onions and spices – the seasonings from the yellow rice mix blended well with the other flavors in the dish.  I then stuffed the chicken breast with the pumpkin rice and browned it on both sides on the stove top and then finished it off in the oven.   The chicken breast was moist, flavorful and perfectly cooked and so was the rice!  If you’re a lover of rice like I am, be sure to try this recipe and head on over to Zatarain’s to try some of their original recipes like Pork Chops with Harvest Rice Pilaf.

PUMPKIN RICE STUFFED CHICKEN BREAST

Ingredients

  • Rice Stuffing Ingredients:
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup Caribbean pumpkin or butternut squash, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • ½ onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp thyme, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • 1 – 6.9 oz box Zatarain’s Yellow Rice
  • 2 ¼ cups water
  • Other ingredients:
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp butter

Instructions

  1. To make the pumpkin rice stuffing:
  2. Add oil and butter to a pot over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add pumpkin, onion, garlic, ginger and thyme and cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Next add Zatarian’s yellow rice mix, scallion, black pepper, bouillon powder and water and stir to combine.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook covered for 20-25 minutes until the rice is tender. Set aside.
  5. Place chicken breast flat on a cutting board and place your hand firmly on top. Starting on the thin end, slice through the chicken breast until you’ve reached the other side. Be sure not to cut all the way through to the other side. This technique is how to butterfly chicken breast.
  6. Season the chicken breasts with onion powder, garlic, black pepper and salt.
  7. To stuff the chicken breast, open the flap that you created with the cut and place a heaping spoonful of mixture. Cover with the flap and secure the ends using toothpicks. Repeat process with the remaining chicken breast and pumpkin rice.
  8. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  9. In a large oven safe skillet, add butter and oil over high heat. Once the butter has melted, add chicken breast to the pan and cook until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  10. Place in preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes.
  11. Remove from pan and allow to cool before serving.
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I was compensated for this post.  All opinions are my own.

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