Wednesday, April 16, 2008

No Use Crying Over Spilled - - - Saffron Rice

Tonight I was preparing dinner and I cut open my package of saffron rice, I grated the lemon zest right inside the package (so clever- I thought). I was waiting for the chicken stock/ water to come to a boil. Somehow in all my preparations, I knocked over the open package of rice. Rice went everywhere! Of course, Ivy was right there to start licking up the numerous grains of uncooked saffron rice. I don't think uncooked rice is on the list of "don'ts for dogs", but I didn't really think it could be healthy. So I put her into the living room and put up the baby gate. She immediately jumped onto the back of our couch, so she could watch me clean up the mess. As I'm vacuuming, sweeping, and swiffering up all the rice, the pot of chicken stock boils over in a major way. So now, chicken stock is all over my cook top. Awesome. I move the chicken stock and turn off the burner. I finally get everything cleaned up, but dinner was a little late!

This was originally a Rachael Ray recipe and as I go over the changes I made, I realized that it hardly resembles the original recipe. However in the past, I made the dish with shrimp and used RR's marinade and it was delicious. This just worked better for me tonight.

Spanish Shrimp and Chorizo with Sweet Pea Couscous
(I really should have renamed it- Cajun Chicken and Andouille with Sweet Pea Saffron Rice)

1/4 cup (about a handful) parsley, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (eyeball it), divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Package of boneless, skinless chicken breast
Package of saffron rice (see pic for the type I used)
1 tablespoon butter
5 cups chicken stock, divided (or what packaged rice calls for)
1 cup frozen peas
Package of andouille sausage, sliced
Cajun seasoning

Cut chicken breast into 1 inch cubes and season with cajun seasoning.
Combine the chicken stock, and lemon zest in a medium-size sauce pot. Note- packaged rice will call for water, using chicken stock will give the dish more flavor (I used a combo- 4 cups chicken stock, 1 1/3 cups water). Cover and place over high heat to bring up to a boil. Once boiling, add the packaged rice. Follow cooking directions on package of rice. When cooked, add the peas and let them warm through.
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 1 turn of the pan of EVOO. Add the chicken and cook, stirring every now and then for about 4-5 minutes. Add the andouille and cook another 4-5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the sausage is brown. Add rice into meat mixture and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
** Tip- do not open packaged rice until ready to add to boiling water/ stock.

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