The Payzant Special

Once upon a time, I was a University student who had three roommates (Amanda, Becka, and Beth) and we all lived in a dirty house on a street named Payzant.

Despite the fact that the house was a disaster (the paint was literally coming off the walls in the bathroom) and we endured a mice infestation, we lived in that house for four years.  Those four years were the best years of my life, and I don’t think I will ever have friendships as great as those relationships.

It was during this time that I started cooking and baking.  I’d bake my mom’s chocolate cookies for my roomies (they’d help stir and eat the batter), squares for “baking issues” (a pharmacy students favorite assignment, I just wish I knew then what I know now – my baking issues would have been a lot more creative!), and cinnamon buns for bake sales.  I got the Kraft “What’s Cooking” magazine in the mail and I loved looking through it to find recipes.

That’s where I found this little gem.

I tried this recipe out and it was a hit with me and the roomies.  I think we ended up making this every week.

Cooking back then was fun because it was a team effort.  Someone would cook the chicken, someone else would chop the veggies, someone else would grate the cheese.  And you also had someone to help you with dishes.

We also lived for cheese!

Beth once said that she went into a panic when she was running low on cheese.

This is just one cheesy skillet full of deliciousness!  Plus some broccoli, so you’re getting your green veggies. Delicious and nutritious.

The Payzant Special
(adapted from Kraft)
1/4 cup Calorie Wise Zesty Italian dressing
1-2 chicken breasts (depending on how large they are, and how chicken-y you want it to be)
1 1/4 cup chicken stock (I use the no-salt added kind)
1 1/2 cups brown minute rice (you know, the kind that says it’s done in 10 minutes)
1 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
2 stalks broccoli, florets chopped
1/2 8 oz container of mushrooms, sliced 
About a cup or so of old cheddar cheese, grated
Cut chicken into bite size chunks.  Add salad dressing to large frying pan that’s been preheated on medium heat.  Add chicken chunks.  Stir to coat.  Cook until cooked through and just starting to brown.
Add stock, onions, and rice.  Bring to boil.  Turn down heat to low, cover pan, and simmer for five minutes. 
Add the rest of the veggies.  Stir.  Cover.  Cook for five minutes.
Turn off heat.  Stir in half of cheese to the rice mixture, then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.  Cover and let sit five minutes.

Tastes best while watching Friends or Sex and the City reruns… and then you should take an after supper nap.

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