Saturday, September 22, 2007

Chicken La Bodega

This recipe is from "Saucepans and the Single Girl" by Jinx Morgan and Judy Perry. They first wrote it when they were poor girls just out of college in 1965. It's charming, and the recipes seem pretty easy, with normal ingredients. (You know how the recipes in most cookbooks include several things items you have to buy just for that recipe and otherwise will never use again? There doesn't seem to be much of that in this book.) Here's Chicken La Bodega with my adjustments in bold.

Chicken La Bodega

1 pkg. Chicken (frozen fryer or 4 thighs)

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. paprika

⅓ c. olive oil

3 T butter

¼ tsp. saffron

1 c uncooked rice (I used instant whole grain brown rice)

1 c white wine

1 c chicken stock

Bay leaves (3 or 4)

½ c. ripe olives, pitted

Peas to taste (I suggest ½ lb. or less. Probably much less, if you’re including olives.)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Pat chicken with a damp paper towel and season with salt and paprika. Brown slowly in olive oil. In another pan, melt butter and stir in saffron and rice. Toast rice until golden brown, stirring often for 10 minutes. (The cookbook said occasionally, but that’s how scorching happens, my friends.) Add wine and chicken stock. Simmer covered for 15 minutes. (My chicken finished before the rice. That’s fine. Just set it on a cool burner until you’re ready to use it.) Place bay leaves in casserole dish. Add rice, drained chicken and olives (or not). Bake 40 minutes *. Add peas and heat. Remove bay leaves before serving.

*These casseroles are designed so you can start them one day, then where you see the star you can store them. (This is handy for dinner dates, the main focus of the book.) The next day, preheat the oven, then pop the casserole in and heat it until it bubbles. The only thing the authors weren’t clear about was…what if you do it all in one day? I think I baked it 30 minutes, added the peas and let it go the last 10 minutes (40 total). It turned out great! It’s easy and so scrumptious.

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