Saturday, June 09, 2007

Save on Washing Up with a One-Pot Chicken and Chorizo Rice Pilaf

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Now here's a recipe thats simple to prepare, and best of all, made in one pot. That's gonna save you heaps of time in front of the kitchen sink after dinner; and if anyone asks me, that sounds like a mighty good plan!

A pilaf is a dish where rice (or other grain) is browned in oil, then cooked in a flavoured broth. There are variations of pilafs across the many different cultures of the world. The Spanish have paella, while Indian and Pakistani cultures have biryani. The Italians have risotto, and Africans can be proud to add jambalaya to this list.

Chicken and Chorizo Sausage Rice Pilaf

5 chicken thigh fillets, skin intact, cut into cubes
salt and pepper

1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground fennel
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika

1 large onion, diced
1 capsicum (green/red), diced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 chorizo sausage, diced
3 cups long grain rice

750 ml hot chicken stock, infused with a large pinch of saffron threads
5 medium roma tomatoes, roughly diced
1/2 cup frozen peas

lemon wedges, to serve

Start off by heating a few tbsps of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. When hot, add in chicken pieces, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Leave chicken to cook on medium to high heat. Resist any temptation to touch or turn the pieces at this point. What you should be looking for is a very well browned and crispy crust to form on the chicken pieces. After 5-10 minutes, turn the chicken pieces, they should have formed a deep brown, crusty exterior, and release themselves from the base of the pot without much coaxing. Season again. Let them cook on the other side in the same fashion. Remove from pot when done and set aside.

In the same pot, add the spices and fry till fragrant, scratching the base of the pot to release the tasty chicken reside thats left behind. Add in onion, capsicum, garlic and chorizo, and cook for a further 5 minutes till the vegetables become translucent. Add in rice and stir to coat the grains evenly with oil. Pour in the stock, saffron threads and the tomatoes. Stir to mix everything evenly. Top with chicken pieces, and sprinkle with peas. Put on a tight-fitting lid, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer over the lowest heat setting for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn off heat and let stand covered for a further 15 minutes to steam. Do not at any point in the cooking process open the lid, as this allows precious steam to escape. Remove lid and serve with some lemon wedges alongside.

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