Curling Up With Chicken and Rice
Mother Nature has been less than kind to many parts of the country this winter, which is officially less than a month old. Some folks might say this bad mood of hers has gone too far. Here in Washington state, Spokane has been walloped with record snowfall -- more than six feet of snow since mid-December -- and then the rain came, causing evacuation-strength flooding in large swaths south and west of Seattle. Avalanches, mudslides, the whole nine. Good times.
While perusing Facebook, I learn that AMA reader Sara G. is battling “50 mph winds and horizontal snow” in Lincoln, Neb. And over the weekend, I get an e-mail from my gal pal (and college roommate) Susan, who reports from Holden, Mass., where a huge ice storm in late December effectively blacked out the entire town. For a week.
Here in Seattle, we are gray and misty but are far from feeling this kind of Mother Nature-induced pain (unless you count the city’s wretched handling of snow removal last month). Offering you my condolences would do little good, so instead, I’d like to dedicate today’s recipe to those of you getting the short end of the weather stick.
Growing up, you may have had some version of chicken and rice, the one-pot wonder that seems to find its place in cuisines around the world. You may know it as chicken pilaf, chicken pilau, maybe arroz con pollo, but the results are always the same -- more like porridge than stew and the culinary equivalent of shelter from a storm. Best of all, the recipe calls for just a handful of ingredients that you probably already have on hand. And in just an hour, you can turn that weather frown upside down! Keep this one handy for when the next storm strikes. I’m just sayin’…
And please send all chicken-and-rice tales my way, either in the comments area or today at 1 ET for What’s Cooking.
Mom’s Chicken With Rice
Adapted from “West Coast Cooking” by Greg Atkinson
1 3-4 pound chicken, cut up, or 5-6 thighs, preferably free-range
1 tablespoon salt (My suggestion is to use 1 teaspoon salt per 1.25 pounds of chicken; do the math accordingly)
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cups aromatic rice, such as jasmine or basmati
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
1 cup white wine that you enjoy drinking
3 cups chicken broth (I did a mix of broth and water, based on what I had on hand)
Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven or equally deep pan fitted with a lid (I used my wok), brown chicken in oil turning them to brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.
Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Add onion and sauté until soft and slightly browned. Stir in rice, garlic, bay leaf and thyme, then add wine and broth. Bring mixture up to a boil.
Return chicken to pan, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer until rice has absorbed the cooking liquid and chicken is cooked through about 35 minutes. Optional but really: Squeeze 1/2 lemon over the entire dish just before serving. Serve hot.
Makes at least four servings.
By Kim ODonnel |
January 13, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
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