Monday, April 25, 2011

Latin-Style Chicken and Rice

One-pot cooking! On a cooking board I frequent, there was a discussion several weeks ago about what makes a one-pot dish. Well, everything cooked in one pot! Some recipes claim to be one pot dishes, but have you start one ingredient in another pot, and then add everything together in the main pot. Close, but not a true one-pot dish.

I need to find or come up with more recipes like this one for Latin-Style Chicken and Rice (found
here on the Epicurious web site). I loved how much flavor I got out of this one, and the easy clean up was a big plus, too. I also got to use the saffron I bought for Jon - we've been looking for a way to use it and this recipe was perfect.

One tip - when you are making a dish like this, or any chicken dish, make an extra breast and turn it into chicken salad the next day. I love using chicken from all different dishes - my chicken salad is always different and has so much flavor.

Ingredients (my version, slightly changed from the original to us chicken breasts and cook for 2 ppl; original recipe called for 2 pounds of chicken thighs)

  • 3 chicken breasts, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 c medium or long-grain rice
  • 1 c low sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 c water
  • 1/4 tsp crumbled saffron threads
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 c frozen peas, not thawed
  • Heat butter and oil in a heavy skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat until foam subsides
  • Add chicken, cook approximately 4-5 min per side. Transfer chicken to a plate. If you use chicken thighs, pour off all but 2 tbsp of the fat from the pan.
  • Cook onion and garlic with 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper over medium heat until golden, about 6 minutes.
  • Add rice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  • Add broth, water, bay leaf, and saffron; bring to a full boil.
  • Return chicken to the pot, nestling it in the rice, keeping as much rice around, not under, the chicken. Also add any juices from the plate.
  • Cover tightly and simmer over low heat until the chicken is cooked through, the rice is tender, and most of the liquid has absorbed; about 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in peas.
  • Cover pot with a kitchen towel, and then the lid, and let stand until all of the liquid has absorbed, about 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf.
We both really enjoyed this - even the baby got a little taste and seemed to like it. I'm determined to get her to eat everything!!

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