Thursday, February 01, 2018

What’s on the MENU this week? Savoury Rice Pilaff with Chimichurri Chicken

This is made in an oven proof dish with a tightly fitting lid that can also go on the hob. A Pyrex casserole or a cast iron and enamel one works very well indeed. You can use cooked chicken as well as raw. And if you don't like the heat of chimichuri you could marinade the chicken in your favourite barbeque sauce or other flavourful marinade. It needs to be robust, the Pilaff is very gentle. Oh and we used some of the leftovers to stuff red banana peppers the next day. 
1 shallot, very finely chopped – ½ t olive oil – 1 T butter - 2 cups of rice - 5 cups of chicken stock – 100 ml dry white wine - 3 sprigs of thyme – 1 bay leaf – a generous pinch of saffron – 2 T dried blueberries or cherries - 1 or 2 courgettes, quartered and sliced - salt – white pepper - a sheet of greaseproof or baking paper
500g chicken , cut into 4 to 5 cm pieces - 5 T chimichurri paste - canola oil
Rub the chicken in the chimichuri and set aside in the fridge to marinate
Fry the onion gently in the oil and butter with a pinch of salt. When it is soft, add the rice and stir till all the grains are transparent. Add the white wine and let it bubble away. Add the stock, a good shake of white pepper and the herbs and saffron. Stir then cover the pot with some greaseproof paper, then its lid and put into a 170°C oven for 30 minutes or until the liquid has almost all gone and the rice is very moist and glossy. Under no circumstances let it overcook and dry out. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
When the rice is ready, quickly fry the chimichurri chicken in a little oil till it is cooked. Serve the two together, accompanied by a mixed salad. Really good with a bottle of chilled Chenin Blanc.

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