Monday, May 12, 2008

Chicken has been upstaged by BROWN RICE!

I tried the Crispy Pressed Chicken with Garlic & Mint from "The Flexitarian Table" the other night. The chicken thighs had marinated in a garlic/mint/lemon juice/olive oil mixture much of the day. The recipe calls for cooking in a cast iron pan, but I thought I would bust out my mattone - terra cotta chicken press. That method took a LOT longer than specified - I think I had a few things that didn't work out for me - the mattone does not get as hot as cast iron, the thighs were the really big ones from Costco, I put 6 thighs in, they released a LOT of fat, so didn't really crisp up like in the picture in the book. The alternate protein for this is tofu, which actually looks very yummy in the book, so I may try that next time.
The superstar of this meal, though, was the Creamy Risotto-Style Brown Rice w/Spring Greens & Asiago. I used short grain brown rice, cooked ahead of time in the rice cooker, and used mache & arugula for the greens. It's simple - scallions (or ramps if you are a lucky duck, I was not), garlic & ginger sauteed in some olive oil & butter, add the rice & blanched greens with a bit of the cooking water from the greens, stir in the cheese & presto - healthy and delicious! Everyone had seconds of this, it was excellent. Another side dish from this book that will enter "heavy rotation" along with the polenta. It had the same flavor profile as broccoli rice soup, but even better. I felt like I had eaten something similar before, it was really great.

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