Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Apricot Chicken and Rice Pilaf With Almonds
The plan today was to make buttermilk chicken again, cook some rice, and some green beans and call it dinner. But then I was looking for something else and saw a jar of apricot-peach preserves, and that led to a search in the Cookbook Corner, and I ended up with a gingery variation on a recipe from the Silver Palate Good Times cookbook. So then the rice turned into rice pilaf, and I toasted some slivered almonds and added them in at the end. The green beans didn't get any special treatment today, but I did rescue them from the certain death they would have suffered if they hadn't been cooked up by tomorrow. Apricot Chicken (based on a recipe from the Silver Palate Good Times) Chicken pieces, bone-in apricot preserves salt and pepper 1 tsp ground ginger olive oil dried apricots, cut in pieces fresh/dried cranberries (optional) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rinse and dry the chicken and place it in a large baking dish. Sprinkle the pieces with salt and pepper, and then evenly sprinkle them with the ground ginger. Spoon the preserves over the chicken and try to spread them evenly -- it doesn't have to be perfect, as it will all start to melt down in the oven. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 min. At that point, take the foil off the chicken, add the apricots and cranberries, if using, and put the dish back into the oven (uncovered). Allow to cook for another 30 min. or so, til the chicken is golden brown on top. Rice Pilaf With Almonds (based on a recipe from Cook's Illustrated) 1 1/2 c Basmati rice 2 1/4 c water salt and pepper 3 Tbs unsalted butter 1/2 onion, finely chopped slivered almonds, toasted Put the rice in a strainer and put under running water til the water coming off the rice runs clear. Set aside. In a small pan, heat the 2 1/4 c of water, covered, til it boils. Turn off the heat, add the salt and pepper, and cover the pan til the water is needed. In a larger pan (one with a tight-fitting lid), melt the butter, let the foam subside, and then cook the onion for about 4 min., til soft but not browned. Stir in the rice and let the rice cook for about 3 min., so the ends of each grain are just barely translucent. Then add the hot water, stir, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to low, cover the pan, and let cook for about 15 to 18 min., until all of the water is absorbed. Take the pan off of the heat and let sit, still covered, for another 10 min. At this point use a fork to fluff the rice up and stir the toasted almonds in.