Chicken and Rice

My grandma used to make the most fabulous chicken and noodles. It wasn’t a soup, but more of a thick noodley side dish. It was pretty much my favorite food of all time, with homemade noodles and tender chicken in this creamy broth concoction that was just downright delicious.

My grandma has Alzheimer’s and can’t remember any of her recipes at this point. She was an amazing cook, with all kinds of fabulous Southern recipes that our family loved. I’ll always regret that we didn’t get them written down before she couldn’t remember.

Luckily, she still remembers the more important things, like family.

I’ve tried recreating those noodles, but I just haven’t figured it out yet. In the meantime, I make this Chicken and Rice. It’s not the same, not at all, but it’s got that same comfort food feel and it just seems like food that a grandma would make you.

It’s perfectly delicious in it’s own way.

I added carrots and broccoli this time around, mostly because I was too lazy to cook vegetables in another dish. It worked beautifully. If you have a bunch of veggie haters, go ahead and leave them out.

Like most comfort foods, this is even better the next day, which is good because it makes a huge pot full.

Go make your Grandma a big bowl of Chicken and Rice and give her a big hug from me.

PrintPrint Recipe

Chicken and Rice


4 quarts (16 cups) water or enough to cover the chicken
1 4 pound whole chicken
3-4 stalks celery, roughly chopped
4 carrots, roughly chopped
2 heads broccoli, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
3 cups long grain white rice


Place the water, chicken, celery, salt, pepper, oregano, and celery salt in a large stock pot, cover, and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Reduce heat and let simmer for 2 to 3 hours.
Remove chicken from the pan and set aside. Use forks (or your hands if you allow the chicken to cool a bit) to pull off small chunks of meat. Remove all of the meat from the chicken and set aside.
Remove and reserve the broth from the pan (or use another large stock pot).
Add 6 cups of broth, the chicken, and the rice back to the pot and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
Stir in the carrots and another cup of broth, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes more.
Continue to add broth, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes, until the rice is almost done.
When the rice is getting close and should only need another 5 minutes, add the broccoli and repeat the broth, cover, simmer routine. (I prefer my broccoli still have a bit of crunch to it, but you can add the broccoli sooner if you like it softer.)
Salt and pepper to taste.

slightly adapted from She Wears Many Hats


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6 Responses to “Chicken and Rice”

  1. Anna December 7, 2011 @ 4:31 pm (#

    I am sorry your Grandma is “not there” anymore. My grandma went through a similar thing, for different reasons.

    My other grandma, though, makes the same kind of dish with the noodles. I should ask her the secret. (We serve with mashed potatoes, do you?) I have done my best, using real chicken off the bone, and frozen egg noodles. Now, explain to me why No Yolks and those thick wide noodles are called the same thing? Oh, anyway- yeah. I over boil in broth, and add chicken. It’s not perfect, but I’m getting closer.

    I will file this other recipe away for another time, though. I had been making baked chicken and rice w/ broccoli for a while, but the rice is always undercooked. So frustrating.


  2. Joanne December 7, 2011 @ 8:26 pm (#

    My grandma doesn’t remember her recipes either. She also has no idea who any of us are, which is just so sad. It breaks my heart every time I see her, especially since I cook now and I want her to know how much she has rubbed off on me, in so many good ways. Sigh. Miss her.

    Shaking it off.

    Chicken and rice. Yum.


  3. Lauren December 8, 2011 @ 12:49 am (#

    So simple and so good!


  4. Erika - The Teenage Taste December 10, 2011 @ 11:03 am (#

    Sometimes there is nothing better than some good ol’ fashioned home cooking. I think everyone will agree that a grandmother’s cooking is the ultimate in comfort food. This looks delicious, Karly!


  5. margaret April 6, 2014 @ 8:30 pm (#

    sorry to hear about your grandma, alzheimer’s is a toughie. but glad to hear that you find some comfort in her food.

    quick question about the chicken, i’m still too scared to buy a whole chicken (you have to pull out its guts and whatnot). is there a way to order it from the meat counter so that all the weird stuff is already gone (head, guts, etc)? or should i buy a prepackaged chicken? any tips would be great!


    • Karly replied: — April 7th, 2014 @ 7:47 am

      Hi @margaret,

      Your question made me laugh! I HATE dealing with raw meat, but especially chicken and most especially when it has bones in it! Ew.

      Assuming you’re shopping at a grocery store and not getting a chicken straight from the farm, you’re not going to find chickens with heads or guts (at least not the way I’m imagining you think you will). Haha! Most of the chickens you find will have a little bag stuffed inside them and all the ick is contained in that bag. You just use a pair of tongs and pull it out and toss it (or use it to make gravy, but I’m not a fan myself).

      Tyson sells a whole chicken without any of that weird stuff in it so you just unwrap the bird and you’re good to go. I’ve only seen that at Walmart though and you have to read the packages. The package will state something like “Whole Frying Chicken – without neck and giblets.” I opt for those if I can find them, but if not, I just use tongs to deal.

      Trust me, if I can deal with an entire raw bird, you can too. 😉 I’m a big wimp about raw meat.

      If, however, you’re seriously not into it, go ahead and use a pack of bone in cut up chicken. I don’t see why that wouldn’t work just fine!

      Hope that helps and good luck!


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