Skillet Chicken and Rice with Peas and Carrots

2 small-to-medium boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt to taste
1 Tbsp ground black pepper
2-4 Tbsp evaporated milk**
2-3 Tbsp minced garlic and finely grated ginger
2 Tbsp canola oil
cilantro for garnish

**¼ cup evaporated milk gives a rich creamy feel to the skillet rice

2 cups basmati rice
4-5 cups of water or low sodium broth

veggies: mushrooms (optional), frozen peas, carrots, green beans, and spring onions or other veggies of your choice

marinade: soy sauce, red wine vinegar, ginger powder

whole spices: 1 star anise, 2" piece Indian cinnamon bark (dalchini), 2 cloves, 2 cardomom pods (crushed), 2 dried bay leaves

Marinate the chicken breasts in the marinade for about 20-30 minutes while assembling the rest of the ingredientsWhen ready to cook the chicken, heat oil in a skillet and allow the chicken to brown well on one side, remove from pan and set asideSauté the minced ginger and garlic and the raw basmati rice in the same skillet, add the whole spices, broth or water, evaporated milk, salt to taste and nestle the chicken breasts in the rice, cover and cook till chicken is done - thickest part registers 165°FIf at this point rice is not done, and the water is all gone, add a little more water and the vegetables, cover and finish cooking the rice, while keeping the chicken warm covered in foilGarnish with cilantro and chopped spring onions, add a few turns of the pepper mill for some fresh ground black pepper, serve warm