Chicken and greens pilaf

Recipe from delicious. Magazine, March 2019

The recipe hasn’t been made available online. If this changes I will post a link here.

I made this with the leftovers from the Provençal style roast chicken, as suggested by the magazine. It was good to be able to use the leftover chicken meat in a more interesting way than our usual pesto pasta and to have more of those southern French flavours.

Difficulty rating- 2/5, a pretty straightforward recipe but relies on you having good instincts and making some judgement calls.

Necessary equipment-

1x chopping board

1x chef’s knife

1x frying pan

1x zester/box grater

1x sauté pan with lid

1x wooden spoon

1x bowl

For how many people? 4

Timings

Total time taken (according to the recipe)- 40 minutes

Total time taken by me- 1 hour 15 minutes

Hands-on time (according to the recipe)- 15 minutes

Hands-on time taken by me (including ingredients prep)- 35 minutes

Cooking time (according to the recipe)- 25 minutes

Cooking time taken by me- 40 minutes

The making

I set the sauté pan over a low-medium heat while I started to prep the ingredients. When it was heated through, I added the oil and onions. I fried the onions for ten minutes, stirring occasionally, while I finished prepping the rest of the ingredients. After ten minutes, they weren’t quite as soft as I’d have liked, so I decided to soften them for a few minutes longer.

When the onions were softened, I added the butter, sultanas and rice and stirred them properly to make sure the butter was melted and everything was coated by the fat. I added a generous pinch of salt and the poaching liquid from yesterday’s poached chicken and turned the heat up to bring the dish to a simmer, before turning the heat to low and covering it with a lid for twenty minutes.

After twenty minutes, I removed the lid and added the cabbage, peas & some of the leftover chicken. I stirred them through the rice and returned the lid for five minutes. After five minutes I removed the lid and checked the rice, which wasn’t yet cooked, so I decided to give the dish an extra ten minutes to cook with the lid on.

After I’d added the vegetables to the main dish, I started toasting the almonds in a dry frying pan for the garnish. While they were toasting I chopped the tarragon and zested and juiced half a lemon, putting both of these into a small bowl. I then chopped the almonds, added them to the bowl with a pinch of salt and stirred everything together.

After the rice was cooked through, I served the pilaf in wide, shallow pasta bowls with a little bit of the garnish sprinkled on top, serving the rest at the side so people could help themselves to more if they chose to do so.

Any cheats or changes?

I used 140g frozen chopped onions from the freezer instead of an onion- I really don’t enjoy chopping onions!

Any extra tips?

If you don’t want the sweetness from the sultanas, it might be worth trying a salty hot from olives or anchovies instead.

Anything you’d change for next time?

I would check if the rice is done before adding the vegetables to avoid over cooking them- the recipe does imply that you should do this, I just missed it while cooking.

Serving Size- Generous

The eating-

This dish looked so vibrant and green with the peas & cabbage it made me feel happy and healthy before I’d even tried it. The brown rice had a fantastically nutty texture, enhanced by the almond garnish and broken up nicely by the moist chicken and the freshness of the vegetables.

The flavour of the chicken and rice was really pepped up by the aniseedy tarragon and zesty lemon in the dressing and the sultanas add little pops of sweetness which made the dish more interesting and made it a bit different to a standard chicken and rice dish.

Any comments from other people?

My husband said he wouldn’t have expected the sultanas & chicken to work together but they really did.

Verdict– 4/5, a great, clear recipe for a fantastic dish but it did take a lot longer to make than the times given indicated.

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