Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Orange Rice and Chicken

Damn, I really need to get a camera better than my phone...

Anyway, last night's dinner was Orange Rice and Chicken with Extra-Sharp White Cheddar.

Orange rice is made the same way as yellow rice-- this was a medium and a large bad of Mahatma Yellow Rice-- but instead of water, use chicken broth and add veggies. Directions are like so:

Boil a chicken.
This one was a big meaty one, but any chicken will do. Fresh broth is the best broth as far as flavor, so we always get the meat and the broth from the same place. Put the chicken in the pot with pepper and garlic, and boil for at least an hour.

Make the rice.
Add the rice and the broth into a big sturdy pot, and cook according to directions, but with less broth than recommended, because the veggies add extra water. If I'd followed directions, it would have been seven and a half cups and that a) wouldn't have fit in the pot I had, and b) would have been really really mushy.
Add one onion, one green pepper, and one can of fire roasted tomatoes (that's why it's Orange and not Yellow Rice).
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until it's done like with normal rice. It'll probably burn; something about yellow rice makes it always burn, and the few times when it hasn't, it also wasn't good. I know paella is meant to burn, so maybe that's why. Anyway, just becareful you don't scrape up the burned bits if you don't want that, and it enhances the flavor of the roasted tomatoes either way.

(If the meat isn't falling off the chicken yet, refill the pot and let it boil longer while the rice cooks-- you've got somewhere around a half hour before the rice is done, and you'll get a second batch of broth you can jar up and save for later in the fridge.)

Pick the chickens.
When it's ready, pull the chicken out of the pot and debone it like a vulture as soon as it's cool enough to touch, picking out all the little bits of meat. There's really great pockets of tastiness on the backs of the hips (oysters), the shoulders above the wings, and the back. Anything that isn't gristle and skin can go in, and things like thighs and breast are better if you keep them in sort of big chunks.
Toss the bones, or save them for more stock, but I think they're pretty spent by this point if you've double-boiled them like I do.

Mix it up.
This is easiest in the pan that you picked the chicken in-- once the bones and bits are out, dump the rice on top of the chicken and fold it all together.

Top with the cheese, and eat it all up.

With this much rice, it makes enough for five people to eat twice.

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