Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

Chicken Plov

February 26, 2018


I based this on a beautiful chickpea plov recipe from  This was a bit more quickly thrown together, but worked very well.  I used white basmatti rice instead of brown since it cooks more quickly.

1 cup white onions, chopped
2 tbs olive oil
2 chicken breasts, diced
salt, pepper, paprika, chili flakes
1/3 cup black olives, diced
1/3 cup dill, chopped
1/4 chives, chopped
2 cups basmatti rice
1 tsp saffron threads
2 tsp kosher salt
2.5 cups chicken stock

Saute onions in olive oil at the highest heat level.  Add chicken seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, and chili flakes.  Just brown.  Turn off heat.   Add chopped spices and olives in layers but do not mix with the chicken and onion mixture.  Pour rice over the herb layer, still without mixing.  Bloom saffron in chicken stock and add salt to the liquid.  Pour over rice.  The liquid should just cover the rice, if it doesn’t add water.   Lock lid in place.

Select “rice.”  On my Duo 6 quart, this brings up an un-adjustable 12 minute cycle.  After the rice cycle is up, allow a natural pressure release of 10 minutes.  If liquid still remains, do a quick 2 minutes on manual, with a quick release to follow.   Serve with yogurt, if desired.

A Pickled Chicken.

May 12, 2008

Meat contains three layers of water. There’s free water, which is the stuff running out of the raw meat. There’s intermediate water, loosely bound to the tissue. Lastly, there’s bound moisture which is essentially the water chemically bound tightly to the cell walls of the muscle. This water is unable to exit the meat during cooking. By brining, it is possible to build a salt bridge via a positively charged sodium molecule between the water in the intermediate layer and the water in the bound layer since water has a net negative charge. The end result is the retention of the intermediate layer of moisture within the meat and a nice juicy meal. The salt also adds flavor. I could go on about how the difference in osmolarity between the salt water (high) and the bird (low) causes a migration of salt molecules (and whatever other flavorings you might add) into the meat, but that would just be nerdy of me.

This weekend we smoked a chicken I had brined with the solution below. I’ll grant that it was a tad salty because of the additional salt from the pickle juice, but the flavor was fantastic, and this was maybe the juiciest bird I’ve ever made over dry heat. We smoked it on the trusty Big Green Egg, sitting up on a half empty beer can. Before cooking I coated the bird lightly in olive oil, salt, and pepper. I’ve cut the salt back a little in the recipe, so this should be a sure fire brine. It’s what I’ll be using next Thanksgiving…. and I take my Thanksgiving turkey very seriously.

¾ cup kosher salt
¾ cup pickle juice (I had Valasic kosher dill)
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
5-10 black peppercorns
2 quarts warm water
4 quarts (aprox) cold water

Mix dry ingredients in a large stock pot. Add warm water and stir to dissolve. Add cold water. Submerse cleaned bird. Add more water as needed to cover the bird. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

Note: When brining a turkey, I usually use about 2 cups of kosher salt, dissolve it in a small amount of warm water, then dilute with half cool water, half ice in an ice chest. Then I sink the turkey and add more water to cover. As long as the lid is tight on the cooler, the ice will easily last over night, so I don’t have to find room in the packed fridge.