Fancy Chicken and Rice
Fancy Chicken in Rice is just one of the many recipes that caught my eye in “My Two Souths“. My two Souths is a new cookbook from Chef Asha Gomez of Cardamom Hill in Atlanta. The book blends together food from Southeast Asia with down home food of the south.
I’m a bit of a cookbook collector, and now being a home owner, that has only gotten worse, as my family room has floor to ceiling bookshelves. So I often pick up cookbooks that catch my eye, though I’m often slow to cook out of them. Sometimes I try to prevent that by checking books out of the library like so:
I tried this with My Two Souths, and checked it out. I found it to be filled with recipes such as Pork Vindaloo with Cardamon Cornbread and Chicken and Waffles, Not only did I find an Indian flair added to what I would consider a classic southern recipes. (Or at least what I’ve been told is classic Southern. I’m a Pacific NW girl with Midwestern roots. ) I found recipes that were the kinds of home style recipes that I wanted to cook. I wanted to make Spiced Chai, Potato Patties, Banana Beignets. Indulgent recipes for breakfast, savory recipes for snack time, and main dishes suitable for dinners.
Take the Cookbook of the Shelf
Instead of leaving the cookbook on the shelf, and wishing for the right circumstance to make a recipe, I picked a recipe suited for my Cooking challenge, and my girls craft night.
The recipe was simple, it doesn’t require any special techniques, and only a couple special ingredients that you might not have at home. It’s a one pot dish, and with the right casual crowd, you could even just set the pot on the side table, garnish with apricots, cilantro and almonds and let your friends serve themselves. That’s what we did.
Instead of using the called for dried apricots, I used Trader Joes half dried apricots. They come frozen and offered a bit of freshness when added at the end.
I served the dish with an Indian spiced vegetable saute from Fine Cooking, and a citrus salad from Weight Watchers. It made an easy buffet.
Weeknight Fancy Chicken and Rice
From the Cookbook, My Two Souths By Asha Gomez
- ¼ cup ghee (or use unsalted butter)
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
- 6 green cardamom pods, crushed
- 3 whole star anise
- 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoons turmeric powder
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 2 ¼ cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 ½ cups basmati rice
- ¼ cup chopped dried apricots
- ¼ cup sliced raw almonds, toasted
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
- In a medium saucepan with a lid, melt ghee over medium-high heat. Add onions, cardamom, star anise and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are soft and a very deep golden brown, about 15 minutes, lowering heat if necessary to keep from burning them. Add garlic and turmeric; cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes, or until very fragrant. Add chicken and cook for 4 minutes, stirring to coat chicken with the onion mixture.
- Add stock and remaining salt, increase the heat and bring to a boil. Add rice, stir and cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the rice has absorbed liquid, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 12 minutes. Remove lid and fluff rice with a fork.
- Transfer chicken and rice to a bowl, taking care to remove and discard cardamom pods and star anise. Garnish with apricots, almonds and cilantro. Serve at once.
For My Weight Watchers friends this turns out to be 19 Sp per serving. My tacit is to take a smaller serving and have more vegetables on my plate. If you’re cooking for it, reduce the amount of ghee you use, and skip the almonds at the end.
This Week’s Cooking Challenge
While last weeks truffle rice was perfect for this weeks challenge, I wanted to try something new.
I’m looking forward to next weeks cooking challenge.
Source: Almost Dinner