Friday, March 28, 2008

Chicken Thighs with Rice Pilaf & Bonus Recipe

Boneless, skinless thighs are a good thing, but I still prefer the bone-in, skin on variety. They are more flavorful.

What we do for this dish is season trim the excess fat, and season the thighs with salt & pepper. Brown in a dutch oven with a little oil, skin side down until well browned, maybe ten minutes. Don't move the thighs for at least five minutes. Turn and brown the other side.

Remove from the pot and dump out all but a couple of tablespoons of the fat/oil. Brown the vegetables, some combination of peppers, carrots, onions, celery, leeks, tomatoes, etc. The "Cajun Trinity" of onions, bell peppers, and celery is always a good complnation. I always make sure I have some bright red and bright green vegetables. It looks nice.

Remove the skin from the thighs and discard.

Add the rice and saute for about two minutes. Toss in some garlic for another thirty seconds or so, then add chicken stock and thighs, along with any accumulated juices.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let rest for another 15 minutes. Don't peak!

Fluff & serve.

Bonus Recipe

My brother-in-law Frank sent us this Brussels sprout recipe. It's similar to Laurie's Posh Brussels Sprouts with an added flair. Enjoy.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Apples and Onions, with Balsamic Glaze

1 lb Brussels sprouts
6 slices bacon
1 T mustard seeds
1 medium onion, peeled, cut in crescents
1 tart crisp apple (I used a Granny Smith), peeled, cored, cut in crescents
3 T brown sugar
2 T balsamic vinegar
1/2 C dry white wine
1 T Dijon mustard
olive oil
salt, hot sauce to taste

Trim the root ends of the sprouts, remove dried outer leaves and cut each sprout in half. Toss with a tablespoonful or so of olive oil and roast uncovered in a preheated 325º oven about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove when the sprouts are cooked through and starting to brown and char along the edges.

Meanwhile, in a pan large enough to contain all the ingredients, sauté the bacon until just starting to crisp at the edges and remove to drain on paper towel. Pour all but 1 T of the bacon grease from the pan and discard. Add the mustard seeds to the pan and stir over medium high heat until they start to pop. Add the onions and apples, lower the heat to medium and sauté , stirring occasionally, until starting to turn soft, about 5 or 6 minutes. Stir in the sugar, wine and vinegar, raise the heat to medium high and cook, stirring, several minutes until the liquid is reduced to a syrup. Remove from heat and stir in the mustard.

Chop the bacon and add it to the pan, then add the sprouts to the pan and stir and toss to combine. Correct seasoning. May be served immediately or at room temperature.

Note: to make ahead, slightly undercook the sprouts so they will finish cooking when reheated.
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