There is no denying that the cracker barrel chicken and rice is an excellent meal that serves any occasion. I have had this meal a few times but have never been able to frequent their outlets often enough to quench my never-ending craving for their dishes.
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First off, I recently moved to the countryside and cannot make the commute as often as I would wish. Add that to the number of kids I have around me most of the time and the time and energy spent in getting to a Cracker Barrel would be too much. It is for this reason that I decided to come up with a recipe that equalled the dishes that they serve.
Online results did not do me much good, and I decided to start from scratch, and that is how I ended up with this Cracker Barrel Chicken and Rice recipe. My friends and family swear by it, so I am sure it will serve you well on those Sunday night dinners. Enjoy!
All You Need to Know About This Dish
The first thing that you should know is that this is not the original recipe as I have made variations of my own. For this reason, I refer to it as my copycat cracker barrel chicken and rice recipe. The good thing about this meal is that you can make a ton of alterations without changing how great it is.
Also, you only need three ingredients t3o get it right. The rest of the components that come about can vary depending on what you have in your kitchen. It’s all about finding the right mix of ingredients for you so feel free to be creative.
You will need about three minutes to prepare the dish, and that’s a good thing for someone like me who lives in a busy household. I need to be almost everywhere at the same time, and it makes cooking hectic to some extent. With under five minutes to prepare a meal, I know that there is not much that can go wrong during this time. Plus, the kids can help out without getting bored.
Start early on when making this dish.
If you plan on serving it at seven, then you had best get started at about two in the afternoon as it will take about four hours to cook. I like having an allowance of about five hours so that if anything goes wrong, I will have enough time to make amends where necessary.
This recipe works for all cooking levels, and a beginner should also have an easy time with the preparation and cooking. It is important to note that this recipe yields four servings. If you wish to serve more people, you can alter the ingredients accordingly.
As for the cooked rice, you are free to use the variety that you like best. I love trying out different types to get a feel of the varying flavours, and the meal comes out right each time.
That said, let’s get to cooking!
How to Make Cracker Barrel Chicken and Rice
- A can of cream of mushroom soup
- Four skinless and boneless chicken breasts
- A tablespoon of dried minced onion
- Cooked rice
- A tablespoon of ground black pepper
And just like that, you are ready to start making this dish. It’s so easy to make, but that won’t be evident to anyone who eats this meal. They will swear that you must have used all the ingredients on which you could lay your hands. Yes, it’s that good.
Start by gathering all the ingredients and making any substitutions where necessary. If this is your first try at this meal, I recommend that you stick to this recipe and you can make changes at subsequent attempts. If you get it right this time, then it should not be a hassle to find areas which could do with some changes to best suit your loved ones.
Take the chicken breasts and place them at the bottom of your slow cooker. Leave them here for a while as you work on the other ingredients.
Get a small dish and in it, add the cream of mushroom soup. For the soup, you will find many varieties in the supermarket. It’s a good idea to go for the healthiest option that you can get so that you can lower the number of calories that you consume. If this is not much of an issue, you can grab any can and get to cooking.
In the bowl with the soup, add some dried minced onion as well as the pepper. Combine the ingredients in the dish until they evenly mix. You could opt to do away with the mixing, but this might affect the flavour of your chicken. With an even mix, it becomes easier to spread the seasoning on the chicken, thus ensuring that each part soaks in the tastes.
The result is an unbelievably tasty chicken!
Take the mix and spread it over the chicken breasts. As you do so, ensure that you do not leave any part untouched. Place the pieces in your crockpot and cover it with a lid. Ensure the heat is on low. You can now move on to other activities around the house as you wait for the meat to cook.
Usually, the chicken cooks for anything between four to six hours and this all depends on the sizes of the meat. Sometimes, you may be short on time, and you wish to make this meal in a hurry.
In such a case, your best bet lies in having thinly sliced breasts as they can cook in about two hours. Average sizes take about four hours while large pieces require about six hours of cooking to be entirely done.
Check if the chicken is ready in about four hours. Once it is ready, place it in gravy, and you can now serve your guests. For the rice, go with any style that you wish to have. Read the instructions on the package, and you will be good to go.
If you are looking for a delicious yet simple meal that you can whip up without much effort, this Cracker Barrel Chicken and Rice recipe is the way to go. There is another variation that I tried a few weeks ago, and people seemed to love it just as much as the one above. If you’re feeling eager to try another alteration, here we go!
A Cracker Barrel Chicken and Rice Recipe With Less Calories
Now, this Cracker Barrel Dish variation is what I could comfortably call comfort food. It’s delicious, and I added a few changes to ensure that it is healthy. By now, you may have realised that I emphasise a lot on healthy options, but there is a whole other story to that, for another day.
And the healthy choices do not interfere with the taste so you are sure to enjoy it as much as the previous option and as much as you would appreciate what you would find at Cracker Barrel.
Picture this. It’s the end of a long weekend, and you are about to start another long week at work. Sometimes I think that the reason why my Sunday dinners are so popular is that people are looking for ways to escape Mondays. And what better way to do so than by indulging in comfort food?
Now imagine creamy chicken sitting on some hot rice that is steaming under the heat of the meat pieces. Does that make Monday seem like less of a hurdle? Well, I no longer hear my kids complaining about school the next day, and I will, therefore, take it as a yes.
This recipe is quite easy, and you should finish in an hour or so.
Another thing about it is that it is not restrictive and you can make changes where you feel that another ingredient would serve you better. For the rice, I can go white on some days. However, you will find me working with quinoa or wild rice now and then as I seek healthier options for my family. But once in a while, I’ll go basic white.
The rice cooking directions are as per the package or how you like it best. It’s the chicken that needs most of your time and attention for you to get it right.
You will take about ten minutes to prepare this meal and about forty-five minutes to cook the chicken to perfection. Setting aside about one hour or thereabout is advisable, especially during your first try. If you have help, you can cut down the preparation time in half, leaving you with more time to work on other things such as the veggies.
For the chicken, go with strips. Cutting the meat into bigger pieces will mean that you will spend much more time cooking than that indicated in the recipe. This recipe serves four people so feel free to make adjustments where necessary.
- Two cups of rice cooked to the halfway stage
- One diced onion
- One can cream of chicken soup
- A packet of chicken gravy
- One and a half pounds of chicken
Ensure that you have all the ingredients that you need before starting the preparations. Start by preheating the oven to three hundred and fifty degrees Fahrenheit before doing anything else.
The essence behind this is to ensure that the oven is hot enough to cook the chicken pieces once you are ready. Preheating at a later stage means that the oven will take time to produce enough heat for the cooking and thus your chicken will take longer to be ready. It also interferes with how good the chicken tastes once done.
Next, start cooking the rice. Keep watch over the process and once the rice is halfway ready, throw in the diced onion such that it boils with the rice till doneness. Ensure that the rice is dry before taking it off the heat.
By this stage, your oven is hot, and you can now cook the chicken pieces in it with ease.
Line a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or other material that will ensure that the rice does not stick during cooking. The baking tray that you choose should be hollow enough to accommodate the rice and the meat pieces. Place the cooked rice at the bottom of the baking dish and ensure that it spreads over the entire area.
Next, place the chicken strips on top of the rice, ensuring that you spread them evenly. You can now spread the chicken soup over the pieces. Some people prefer to dilute the cream. However, I find that one gets the best results from using the soup as it is from the can.
For the gravy, you can go about this in two ways. If you get the one in a packet, then you should mix it with one cup of water before pouring it on the chicken pieces. You can also opt to buy the one in a can as you can use this one as it is.
Cover the dish with aluminium foil after ensuring that the soup covers the chicken pieces in entirety. Place the baking dish in the oven and let the chicken and rice cook at three hundred and fifty degrees Fahrenheit for forty-five minutes. Avoid opening the oven as the meat cooks as this leads to a loss in temperature which affects the cooking period.
After forty-five minutes, you can check the meat for doneness. Once the meal is ready, you can remove the aluminium foil and serve your guests while it is hot. If you do not wish to eat it immediately, you can lower the heat in the oven and let the pieces continue cooking.
With these two variations, you have an assurance that your loved ones will look forward to dining at your home. And when it comes down to choosing between your Cracker Barrel Chicken and Rice option and that at the outlets, they won’t notice the difference.
So don’t be shocked when they claim that you bought it given how great it tastes. I hope that you enjoyed my Cracker Barrel Chicken and Rice recipe. Thank you!