For some reason, fast casual places just hit for us. But they also hit our wallet, which is why we love recipes like this one, that recreate the same satisfying flavors you’d get at a fast-casual restaurant, but save us 13 bucks in the process.
2 boneless skinless chicken thighs
3 tbsp hummus
1 tbsp olive oil
½ cup dried white rice
½ tsp turmeric
1 small cucumber
1 roma tomato
1 handful fresh parsley
½ tsp cumin, paprika, garlic powder
Step 1 - rice and prep
Good evening you literal superstar. Let’s start this mega simple recipe by starting your rice.
Boil ½ cup of dried rice according to the back of its package. BUT, we’re going to spice it up just a tad. Before bringing the rice to a boil, add ½ tsp of turmeric and ½ tsp of cumin to the party. This will give it a lovely aroma and flavor and a subtle orange hue. When you turn the rice to low, remember to use the lowest setting your stovetop has. Also, use your phone as a timer because we ALWAYS forget about our rice.
Now, let’s dice our small cucumber (skin on). For cutting there are two options. To get larger triangle pieces, cut that cuke vertically into 4 pickle-shaped spears, then line them up and slice off pieces that are about ¼ inch thick. If you want smaller pieces, dice your cucumber by cutting it into thin planks, cutting the planks into strips, and then cutting perpendicular to the strips to achieve cubes. This is actually a tough knife skill, so feel free to cut it however you’d like.
Next, dice up your roma tomato. Cut it into circular slices like you’d put on a sandwich, then stack them and go over them like a tic tac toe board with your knife. All we’re worried about here is keeping them as close to the same size as your cuke pieces as possible. Add them to the bowl.
Grab a handful of fresh parsley and chop that sucker up. Size is completely up to you here. And don’t worry about small pieces of stem! They have flavor too you know. Add the parsley to the bowl.
Give your salad, a big pinch of salt, pepper, and the juice of half a lemon. Mix, then taste for seasoning! Too tart? Splash of olive oil. Not tart enough? More lemon. Bland? More salt. Set the mixture to the side.
Step 2 - chicken
Chicky thigh time! Slice 1-2 boneless skinless thighs into pieces about the width of a nickel. We’re making them small so they’re already bite size and they cook really quickly. Add the pieces to a bowl.
Add a splash of olive oil to the bowl, then season them with salt and pepper. Then add equal amounts of cumin, smoked paprika (or normal), and garlic powder. Around a 1/2 teaspoon of each. Or, just eyeball until they’re coated nicely! These spices are mild so it’s hard to over do it.
Preheat a pan and some olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, after about a minute, add all of your chicken pieces and leave them undisturbed for about two minutes until they develop a crust.
After about two minutes, flip or mix the pieces and cook for about 2-3 more. To see if they are done, cut the largest piece in half to check the inside. Unfortunately without a thermometer this is the only safe way to know they’re done! The more you cook the more you’ll develop an intuition for this sort of stuff.
When your chicky is done, kill the heat and start to plate.
Step 3 - plating
Take your hummus, and use the back of your spoon to spread out a little layer (we call it a swoosh) on the bottom of the bowl. Use as much as you’d like. Then go down with a layer of your rice. Then add your chicken to one side and your salad to the other. Enjoy your bowl! Hopefully it tastes like you just saved $13 from a fast-casual place, because you did.