Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Saffron Chicken and Rice

Saffron. The most expensive spice in the world. I purchased my first little bit of extravagance a few months ago. The only thing I’ve ever cooked with saffron is bouillabaisse* – which I love and adore, but I haven’t been up to making it with reams of frozen seafood, much less trying to equal the taste of my sister’s dish.

*Where “cooked” = “drinking any kind of alcohol while my sister tends the pot".

So, having no clue what I wanted to cook with it, I told myself I’d look around and see what struck my fancy.

Apparently what struck my fancy was to put it in my newly-reorganized spice cabinet and forget all about it. Occasionally I’d remember as I shoved it out of the way to get to the red pepper flakes or the basil – I had left it in front of the cabinet so that it wouldn’t get lost. Genius, you have met your match.

Except for the fact that I still managed to forget about it.

Tonight’s menu was chicken and rice, and I relentlessly pawed through my spice cabinet looking for just the right flavors. I think I must have shoved the saffron out of the way at least 3 times before it leapt up, grabbed my by the eyeballs and threatened me with dismemberment.

I took the hint, Thank Goodness, because this is the best flavored chicken and rice I’ve ever made. Take that, Genius!
This is where a picture would be, if I hadn't let all my batteries go dead. I did, and there isn't. So just imagine a slightly smoky red (how many adjectives can I use for one dish?) skillet of chicken and rice. And a Very Happy Professor.

Saffron Chicken and Rice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb chicken breasts
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp sweet paprika
  • ¾ cup rice
  • 1 ½ cups veggie broth (or chicken broth, white wine, water or any combination of the above)
  • A pinch of saffron threads

Heat olive oil in a skillet, and brown chicken on both sides. Remove from the pan.
Sauté onion and garlic in the skillet for about 3 minutes, until the onion softens.
Add paprika and stir til it’s all coated.
Add rice and stock to the pan. Bring to a boil.
Sprinkle in the saffron and return the chicken peaces.
Simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is done.
I was so excited about this that I didn't even cook vegetables with it. Come to think of it, some green beans or snow peas stirred in for the last 5 or 6 minutes would have been awesome. Or Broccoli, maybe, if you're into That Kind Of Thing. Whatever - it was awesome.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to have found your site , I spend my days cooking and shopping for food and studying new recipes. so your site is a treat for me . I added you to my yahoo home page . If your ever stuck for a recipes please feel free to contact me.