Friday, July 31, 2015

Belated dinner reports...

Remember a couple of weeks ago, I posted about teaching the seminarian how to make meatloaf?Well, part two came on Monday: it was his turn to fix dinner. He got the recipe from me, and using what he'd learned from me, he prepared meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and corn on the cob.

Verdict?

He did a good job! He made the meatloaf somewhat differently, but it was good. Fewer seasonings, less onion, but more tomato flavor. The potatoes were the way I make them--somewhat lumpy.

Then on Wednesday, I came up with something rather tasty. Here's what I did:

I started with a bunch of chicken thighs--a pack of ten. I rinsed them off, and then dredged them in a mixture of:

White flour, black pepper, red pepper, garlic powder and paprika. (I know what you're thinking: how much of each? I think it was about 2/3 cup of flour, and I was liberal with the black pepper and garlic, less so with the red pepper. Do it to your taste.)

Then I heated up some olive oil in the fry pan; and when it it was hot, I browned the thighs on both sides. I didn't intend to cook them through.

Meanwhile, I chopped up a medium onion and mixed that in with two or so cups of Arborio rice -- although I think any rice would do; that's what I had on hand, and it's what I use for risotto. I had some chicken stock in the freezer (at least, I think it was chicken stock; whatever it was, I saved it because it was delicious); so I got that out, thawed it in the microwave, and dumped that on the rice-and-onion mixture.

About this point, I realized all ten chicken thighs weren't going to fit in the one pan I was working with. No problem; I got out another pan, chopped up another onion, and added that to some rice in the second pan. But I'd used all the saved chicken stock; so I had some vegetable broth in the cupboard, and used that. I confess I don't know how much I added; I'd say, add at least a cup of liquid to the rice, or even more; it'll all soak up. (In retrospect, I think more would have worked.) Then, I arranged the chicken thighs on the rice, and salted the whole thing, as well as adding even more garlic. (I think garlic goes really well with chicken, what do you think?)  I also poured some of the oil from the pan over it all, so as not to lose the flavors in the pan.

I used a couple of large, Corning Ware casserole dishes, and covered them; then into the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour. A failure on my part to time things exactly led me to realize I couldn't eat the chicken when I intended; so after an hour or so, I turned down the oven to 200 degrees, to keep everything hot.

Verdict?

It was good! For whatever reason, I liked it even better when I had the leftovers last night.

Some things I would do differently:

> Add more liquid; chicken stock would be best; the rice was good, but a little crunchy.
> Use more red pepper and salt;
> Add parsley and chopped celery to the rice (I intended to use parsley and just forgot). Carrots could be good too, but chopped small.
> Maybe add butter, or, if I had it, some schmaltz, but who has that?

With this, we had some fresh green beans, which the seminarian cooked with boiling water, and with some butter and salt. They were delicious!

Oh, and some dry white wine. I don't remember what it was--not Chardonny. I have a wine club membership; it was something I pulled out of the fridge.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

P.S. Sorry I didn't post these reports as they happened. I'll try to do better! (And include photos!)

3 comments:

rcg said...

That sounds delicious! I have trouble with rice in pans versus in pots. I add water to double the depth of the rice and that seems to work. Toasting the rice in the pan before adding the liquid and adding thyme is good, too.

Jennifer said...

I love risotto! It's important to find that balance between al dente and crunchy.

So glad you have a seminarian to keep you company and to pass on your cooking wisdom. It's fun, isn't it? My 7-yr. old is learning to cook. He loves it. Soon I'll have a legitimate kitchen helper. :)

northernhermit said...

"It was good! For whatever reason, I liked it even better when I had the leftovers last night." That is a well known phenomenon in cooking referred to as the marriage of flavors. You might be able to use that in a homily somewhere along the line.