Sunday, 26 October 2014

Chicken & Artichoke Pilaf

This is adapted from a recipe I saw on Serious Eats where chicken braised in broth-cooked rice combine with Greek flavors like lemon, oregano, and feta cheese.

Nestling the chicken into the cooking rice in this way not only gives you beautifully moist and tender chicken but also rice that is infused with lovely chicken aroma and flavour. The lemon and feta brighten and lighten up the whole thing. And artichoke? Well artichoke is just delicious and also happens to pair terrifically with both rice and chicken.

Ideally the chicken thighs would have been skin-on and crisped prior to being nestled into the rice but I was trying to reduce the contents of the freezer and skinless was all we had.

Chicken & Artichoke Pilaf
serves 2

4 chicken thigh fillets
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
125g basmati rice
325ml chicken stock
150g tinned artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed and cut into chunks
1 tbsp fresh juice and 1 tsp zest from ½ a lemon
50g feta cheese, crumbled 

Season the chicken well with salt, pepper, and half of the oregano. 

Heat the oil in a frying or sauté pan that you can cover, over medium-high heat until lightly smoking. 

Add the chicken and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes before flipping and browning the other side.

Remove to a plate and set aside.

Discard all but 1-2 tbsp of fat from the pan and reheat over a medium heat.

Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until softened, and scraping up any stuck on chicken bits about 5 minutes. Add the remaining oregano and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the rice, stirring until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 1 minute, then add the stock and artichoke hearts and stir together.

Nestle the chicken thighs half into the rice and lower the heat to a simmer.

Cover and cook until the chicken and rice are done 15 to 20 minutes more.

Carefully stir through the lemon juice and serve sprinkled with lemon zest and feta. 

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