When you're looking to liven up leftover cooked chicken, a sweet and tangy honey-mustard sauce goes a long way! Add a freshly steamed pot of rice and some sautéed vegetables, and you've got a quick weeknight meal that's full of bright flavors and textures.
Grain bowls are one of my favorite meals. They're easy to serve and enjoy at the dinner table, on the couch for a Netflix marathon night, or as a packed lunch to take to work. They're also easy to assemble from whatever's in the fridge and pantry — if I've got some sort of protein, any whole grain, and vegetables in the crisper, then we're in business.
The method here is simple: Just whisk up the honey-mustard sauce, slice up your leftover chicken, and sauté your vegetables while the rice simmers on the back burner. It's an efficient workflow for an easy dinner, any night of the week.
Chicken Rice Bowls with Honey-Mustard Sauce
For the honey-mustard sauce:
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
salt to taste
For the rice:
1 cup long-grain quick-cooking brown rice
1 1/2 cups low-sodium broth or water
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the sautéed vegetables:
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 large crown broccoli (about 1 pound), cut into florets (or a 12-ounce bag florets)
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally, 1/4-inch thick
1 1/2 tablespoons water
2 cups sliced cooked chicken
Make the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the honey-mustard sauce. Set aside.
Cook the rice: In a small (2-quart) saucepan, combine the rice, broth or water, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then turn down to low, cover, and simmer until rice is cooked and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand (still covered) for about 10 minutes to let the rice finish steaming.
Sauté the vegetables while the rice cooks: In a large (12-inch) skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the broccoli and carrots. Sprinkle the water over the vegetables, then cover the skillet for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and sauté the vegetables until tender, about 3 more minutes.
Serve the vegetables and chicken over rice, with the sauce drizzled on top.
To make this recipe without pre-cooked chicken, just sauté one pound of cubed, boneless, skinless chicken in the skillet before you cook the vegetables.
For a vegetarian option, substitute pan-friend tofu or tempeh for the chicken.