Monday, May 7, 2012

Brown Arroz con Pollo

In (belated) honor of Cinco de Mayo, here is my latest installment in my series of jambalaya-like recipes. As I've written before in my entries for brown rice jambalaya and biryani, it is crucial to get the right liquid-to-rice ratio, and the perfect amount of seasoning. After a few tweaks, this one is right where I want it: rich and chicken-y with a ton of flavor from my old favorite, Adobo seasoning.

2 lb chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces, marinated in 2 t Adobo seasoning
2 onions, chopped
1 lb bell peppers, chopped
7 cloves garlic, minced
1 T adobo seasoning
1 t cumin
1 t oregano
1 t coriander (optional)
1/2 t smoked paprika
1/2 t red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
3 T lemon juice
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups brown rice
1 lb frozen peas
1/2 cup sliced green olives (optional)
chopped cilantro (optional)

In a dutch oven, brown chicken, then set aside. Saute vegetables, then add remaining ingredients except frozen peas, olives, and cilantro and bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat to very low. Cook for 1 hour, and taste to ensure rice is almost cooked through. Remove from heat and allow to steam, covered, for 10 minutes. Stir in frozen peas (they'll defrost instantly), olives and cilantro, if using.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Thanksgiving Stuffing Casserole

Let's just ignore the fact that it is May for a minute. I have been craving Thanksgiving food like crazy lately. I posted my recipe for Harvest Apple Cranberry Spinach Stuffing the other day so I could follow it up with this recipe for one of my favorite "entire meal in a casseroles". This recipe combines my all my favorite things about Thanksgiving into one easy, healthy casserole. I simply stud my Stuffing with seared chicken or turkey breasts before baking in the oven. I like to freeze individual portions of this casserole (it freezes beautifully) so I can have a taste of Thanksgiving on my lunch break!

Directions: Slice 1.5-2 lbs chicken or turkey breasts into 2-inch pieces, season with your favorite seasoning salt (my rule is to always put more than you think you need--you almost want to coat it in seasoning--and it will be perfectly seasoned), and sear until browned on both sides in a skillet. It does not have to be cooked though because it will cook the rest of the way in the oven. Prepare the Harvest Apple Cranberry Spinach Stuffing and pour into a large casserole dish. Nestle the chicken or turkey pieces into the stuffing and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Harvest Cranberry Apple Spinach Stuffing

This is my family's favorite holiday stuffing/dressing. Even people like my husband, who don't like dressing love it. I just take regular store-bought stuffing mix and add in tons of fall fruit and veggies. The dish ends up being more fruit and vegetables than bread: colorful, flavorful, and healthy! It's easy to throw together for holiday meals, or if you're just craving something festive (like I was today).

1 cup dried cranberries, soaked in hot water for at least 5 min
1 T butter
1 large onion, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
Tony Chachere's or other seasoning salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
16 oz frozen spinach, defrosted in microwave (chard or kale would also be fab here)
3 cups chicken stock
1 bag Peppridge Farms herb seasoned stuffing mix

In a medium-large skillet, saute butter, onion, celery, apples, and garlic until softened. Add spinach until warmed through. Combine all ingredients (including the water that the cranberries soaked in) in a large bowl. Pour into a large casserole dish and bake at 400, covered for 15 min, then remove cover and bake 15 more.