Local Flavor is a montly collaboration between Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide and The Community Paper.
I keep a list of recipes I refer to as my graduate student dishes because they’re quick, easy, often use shortcuts and are generally inexpensive to make. This particular recipe I collected shortly after grad school when I was in my first professional job as a communications media specialist. I worked for a small hospital in Illinois doing videography and photography of the sort best not discussed in a food column.
When I mentioned to one of my co-workers — think Flo, the waitress from the TV show “Alice,” but as a medical transcriptionist — that I wanted to cook more meals at home but didn’t know where to begin, she recommended that I start with this recipe, which she recited to me by memory.
It was just right for a novice, sort of like cooking with training wheels.
It’s also a good dish for anyone who needs to whip up something fast, simple and, for the most part, budget-friendly. And it’s an almost-one-dish recipe. In fact, if you want, you can mix the cream of chicken soup and water in the baking dish before you add the rice and eliminate the mixing bowl — you have my permission.
To save time, you can buy the chicken precut, or you can get a whole fryer and chop it up yourself, which you’ll find is cheaper. You can use the chicken wings — or not — but leave the back out of the dish and save it to make chicken stock. That’s a doctoral candidate-level recipe. See the recipe at The Community Paper.