November 22, 2009

Southwestern Skillet Dinner

I like one-pot meals. The clean up is easy, the leftovers transport well for lunches to work or school, and the potential for variety is infinite. That said, it's true that most of my skillet dinners feature rice or pasta or beans, or some two out of the three. Even so, this gives me choices ranging from creamy Tarragon Chicken Farfalle (influenced by French and Italian cuisines) to Southwestern Skillet Dinner shown here (nods to jambalaya, arroz con pollo, and the fabulous flavours of the American southwest).

The genesis for this recipe is from a previous dish I devised, the Southwestern Chicken Skillet, which suggests serving over rice or pasta. This variation omits the gravy-making slurry stage and the sour cream, and incorporates the rice right into the dish. Sour cream, of course, can be added as a garnish. A little cilantro right at the end wouldn't go amiss, either.

At Palle's request, we went with chunks of chicken thigh, rather than ground chicken for this version, and I really think that's the right call for an all-in-one dish like this. Served over rice, go with the ground or chunks, but with the rice mixed in, you want solid pieces of chicken.

When you get to the gravy-making stage, instead of making a slurry, simply add one cup (200 g) of parboiled rice, and one and half to two cups of water, depending on whether your pre-rice mixture is wet or dry and how soupy you would like the finished dish to be. I usually go with two cups. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover, turn the heat to very low, and let cook undisturbed until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid and gotten tender - 15 to 25 minutes, depending on how low your burner goes. If the mixture is still a bit wet, raise the heat and remove the lid for the last few minutes of cooking, and let the excess moisture evaporate away.


Toom said...

Delicious recipe, especially with jasmine rice.

kickpleat said...

One dish meals are the best! This looks great.

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tulipedison said...

Its really a delicious recipe... With Patan ghee on it and Basmati rice.....