with a bonus sidecar recipe**
with a bonus sidecar recipe**
I kinda thought this one up--made it--in stages as laziness, defrosting times and annoying kitchen temperatures permitted.
1. Cook an entire bag of Lundberg's Countrywild Brown Rice (about 2-1/2 c. dry) in appropriate amount of chicken stock, thinned with a lil water if necc, plus salt and a little butter. (Lundberg's rices are so delish--this blend is long grain brown, Wehani and Black Japonica). About halfway through the 50 min cooking time add an additional 2-1/4 c. chicken stock. 12 minutes before cooking time is over stir in a cup of uncooked quinoa. Let it stand when finished; fluff.
Now you have rice for days, which is good because sometimes that 50 minutes is a very long time, but still...that's a lot of rice. *Let's think up something to put on it. Many many portions of it. I know, that chicken in the freezer. Here we go.
2. Poach five big chicken breast halves in 1 quart chicken stock, 1/2 a bottle of white wine, some apple cider vinegar if the wine's too sweet, an entire head of garlic (depapered, whole cloves, say 10-12), whole coriander seeds, bay leaves, peppercorns (if you can get them out of the mill). Doesn't take too long. Remove chicken to chill, strain poaching liquid into another container, adding back the garlic cloves. Let everything chill overnight cause yer sick of chicken.
3. Pick over and then shred the chicken breast halves (I find it good to watch TV or listen to the radio during this part...so boring). In a separate cup, make up a quick mini "marinade": a big spoon of grainy mustard, a little maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce, soy, a little balsamic, lots of salt and pepper, and I added a squeeze of this funny pomegranate glaze I have. Stir it to mix, then stir it into the plain poached chicken, mixing well, letting it soak up the flavors a lil.
4. Pour the reserved poaching liquid--the wine and stock--into a pan and heat to a boil. Add a cold cornstarch slurry (say 2-3 T.) and let it start thickening up, whisking hard. Then **add all but about one portion of the shredded, marinaded chicken. Stir, and let cook and continue thickening for 10-15 minutes.
Then it's done! When the heat came off I felt the urge to suddenly add sage and oregano, so I did.
5. Oh yeah, there's no cream in this creamed chicken, that's how I roll. I bet it'd rock though. As would (I keep thinking) some easy-melting Italian cheese like fontina or asiago in some fashion, or all kindsa herbs and obviously you could stretch the whole thing much further with some complementary vegetables like asparagus tips, mushrooms, carrots, thin beans...it doesn't seem like it'd much enjoy sharing room with stolid parsnips and things. I like my dish pretty severely plain, though, and my vegetables in a separatist, usually uncooked fashion. So his recipe is kind of a base. And the plan is to have this on my fabulous brown rice for many moons, freezing enough that I don't get horribly sick of it before it's gone.
**So you have this extra, poached, and over-seasoned chicken. That is, in case it wasn't clear, the "marinade" is a little too strong on a bite by bite basis, but in the creamed chicken it becomes diluted in the somewhat bland poaching liquid and everything seasons up right. Using the same principle, add some mayonnaise to the reserved chicken, let the flavors marry for a moment or two, and you have amazing chicken salad--great (as I had it) on Brownberry 7-Grain bread with sprinklings of leftover but good freezer cheese (Havarti, cheddar). Would also rock with apples, almonds, grapes, celery...