Monday, November 2, 2015

Braised Chicken Thighs with Wild Rice Pilaf

I love braised chicken.  It is typically flavorful, and moist.  A good comfort food.

This recipe needs tweaking, however. It is a bit on the bland side.  It needed more salt, and perhaps more thyme.  It did call for a tablespoon of fresh thyme.  I got to about 1 teaspoon, and decided that must be a typo.  I put in another teaspoon of dried, but I think that is where the blandness came from.  And we used salted chicken broth, as well.  So more salt and thyme, next time.

The texture was really good.  The walnuts added an unexpected crunch.

It did pick up flavor the next day.  Since we used 1 pound of Brussels Sprouts, we didn't have a side.

Braised Chicken Thighs with Wild Rice Pilaf

Photo by ALB

Browning the meat in the pan first adds all that roasted chicken flavor to the pilaf. The Brussels sprouts and chicken thighs slowly braise as the rice cooks--a protein, vegetable side, and starch all in one pan. Sweet golden raisins and cider vinegar balance out the other hearty, earthy flavors in the dish.

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 1 chicken thigh and about 1 cup rice mixture)

1/4 cup walnut halves
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup uncooked wild rice (such as RiceSelect) (used brown, because we had it)
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
1 cup water
1/4 cup golden raisins (didn't use)
8 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (used 16 oz)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add walnuts; cook 5 minutes or until toasted, stirring occasionally. Remove walnuts from pan; coarsely chop.

2. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned. Turn and cook 3 minutes. Place chicken on a plate (chicken will not be cooked through). Add rice, onion, carrot, celery, and thyme to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring to coat rice. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, stock, and 1 cup water, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 45 minutes. Return chicken thighs to pan, nestling them into rice mixture. Top with raisins and Brussels sprouts. Return to a simmer; cover and cook 12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and chicken is done. Place chicken on a platter. Stir walnuts and vinegar into rice mixture. Serve rice mixture with chicken.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories 503 Fat 15.2 g Satfat 2.7 g Monofat 5.5 g Polyfat 5.3 g Protein 44 g Carbohydrate 49 g Fiber 7 g Cholesterol 162 mg Iron 4 mg Sodium 476 mg Calcium 87 mg

Cooking Light, MARCH 2015

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