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Home chefs learn to improvise when cooking in small spaces and when food, utensils or cookware is limited. You know how it is when you move and the cupboards are bare? I had one of those kitchen days recently. Family members were in the process of moving. I made dinner while they made trips back and forth to get more things. New recipes are often created in such times.

It turned out to be a chicken and rice dinner. First, however, I looked in the pantry to see what the options were. There was a large can of charro beans, a few cans of diced tomatoes and green chiles, and rice. Beans and rice seemed simple enough, but then I couldn’t find a can opener for the beans. Finally, I decided on Lemon Chicken and Rice.

If there were any large utensils to cook with, they must have still been packed away. I managed to season and cook the chicken by using two sharp knives and a plastic fork. Since there was only a large pot, the rice was cooked in the pot with the chicken after it was browned. I did find a small pot big enough to stir fry vegetables from the freezer to serve with the chicken and rice.

Chicken and Rice with Lemon Vinaigrette
Seasonings for Lemon Chicken and Rice

The seasonings and lemon vinaigrette made up for the lack of utensils and pots, though. Dinner actually tasted delicious and was enjoyed by everyone.


  1. Where were you the last time I moved? Lemon chicken sounds wonderful. Our moving day food is either chicken from a box, pizza, or greasy burgers. Lemon chicken and rice sounds like a wonderful treat. I will have to give it a try.

    1. Author

      I had never made chicken and rice just like this. It was even a surprise to me but was what my daughter had on hand at the time. Delicious decision!!

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