Friday, April 15, 2011

Saffron rice

Sorry I haven't been posting.  Believe it or not, I've been eating out of my freezer for weeks now due to high work demands.  Oh well, clearing out the old so I have room for the new.  Bek and Matt let me partner with them and a few other families on a chicken ranching endeavor.  Last Saturday we harvested our crop!  I promise I will post on that soon, but for now I'd like to tell you about the first dish I made with one of our chickens.

It was a six-pound chicken, by the way.  That's a lot of chicken.  I deboned the breasts and they weighed a pound each!  That's three meals worth of meat from just one breast!  Owing to the large size of this chicken, I only used half the chicken (and the wing I mostly fed to Scout).  But the rest of this wonderful, savory dish is mine.  All mine I tell ya.

Saffron chicken and rice.

It is golden and delicious. Sweet with a subtle flavor that reminds you of something that you can't quite put your finger on.  I came upon this recipe recently and remembered that I had some saffron in my spice cabinet.  Yes, it was several years old, but maybe it would still do the trick.  (Spoiler alert:  use your saffron in a timely manner.  What are you waiting on?  You paid a fortune for it, use it while it's still fresh!)

So with chicken and saffron in hand, I embarked.

I'm not going to repost the chicken recipe, since I followed the recipe for Saffron Chicken from Kalyn's Kitchen nearly exactly.  Except that I used a cup and a half of chicken broth and allowed it to reduce for added flavor.

For the saffron rice, I would have liked a long-grain rice like jasmine, but I only had botan.  So botan is was.  It is really very simple.

Put a half cup of water in the microwave and heat to boiling.  Remove it from the microwave and add about 1/8 teaspoon of saffron threads.  I used Spanish saffron but you can also use Indian saffron.  I steeped the saffron in the boiling water for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, I put a teaspoon of butter in a pan on the stove to melt.  When melted, I added a cup and a half of rice.  Ok, so I didn't wait until the butter had melted.  Sue me.  In any event, it was on high and as soon as the butter melted, I stirred the rice around and coated every piece in lovely butter molecules of tastiness.

I went back to the microwave and heated to boiling one and a half cups of water with one vegetable bullion cube.  (You could also just use vegetable or chicken broth.) When that was boiling, I added the vegetable broth and the steeped saffron water to the rice.  It began to boil immediately.  I stirred the dish once well, covered it and set the flame to low.  I set the timer for 20 minutes.  Twenty minutes later, I had lovely saffron rice from heaven.  Finally, I thawed some frozen peas (thawed, not cooked!) and added them to the finished rice as a kind of quickie pilaf.

Serve with the chicken, onions, and fresh parsley and you have a dish sure to make any man swoon.  I promise a picture tomorrow.  I meant to take a picture, but I couldn't stop eating my dinner long enough to focus.  :-)

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