Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Arroz con Pollo

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Arroz con Pollo (chicken and rice) is a favorite in our house. I always have to make a big batch because Steve has no problem having this for dinner two nights in a row he loves it so much. I’m going to be using a super large braising pot for this recipe, if you don’t have one, a large Dutch oven works just fine, all you need to do is to brown the chicken off in two batches.

The traditional Cuban dish is made with short-grain white rice like Arborio, I prefer long-grain white rice. Basmati rice is what I’m using today.

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Olive Oil

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White Wine And Unsalted Chicken Broth

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Bay Leaves

Saffron

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 1 (10-quart) large braising pot, tongs, dry measuring cups, paring knife, 1 rimmed baking sheet pan

Ingredients:
10 bone-in chicken thighs, skins removed
1/2 cup of good olive oil
2 cup of frozen peas thawed
2 (8-ounce) bags of mini sweet peppers, tops removed, seeded, and sliced into rings
1 (15-ounce) bag of frozen peas, thawed
1 large Spanish onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of dry white wine, room temperature (Chardonnay)
1 small pinch of saffron
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons of ground Tumeric
1 1/2 teaspoons of sweet paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups of long-grain white rice, Basmati rice (rinsed really well, see my notes)
1 1/2 quarts of chicken stock, unsalted
1/4 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Directions:
Begin by prepping the garlic, onions, and peppers, set aside.
Next, remove the skin from the chicken thighs and any extra fat, transfer to a rimmed baking sheet pan, set aside.

Add 1 cup of room temperature dry white wine to a measuring cup along with a pinch of saffron, give a whisk to combine, and set aside.

Season both sides of the chicken with Tumeric, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper.

In a large heavy-bottom pot, add olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, arrange the chicken thighs in the pot smooth side down first. Do not touch or move the thighs for at least 4 to 5 minutes. You’ll know it’s time to flip them when they easily release, from the pot, on their own leaving no chicken stuck to the bottom. Flip the thighs and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes.

While the second side is browning, add the dried oregano into the palm of your hand, rub your palms together as you add the oregano evenly over the chicken. This process allows the oregano to release its oils and become fragrant. Don’t worry if the chicken is not completely cooked, they will finish cooking during the braising process. Go ahead and the browned chicken thighs back to the baking sheet pan, set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the diced onions, sweet peppers, and garlic, season with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Stirring frequently, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in the wine/saffron mixture. Using a wooden spoon, scrape all the bits of the bottom of the pot until clean. Continue stirring, cook until the wine is almost completely evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes.

Return the chicken thighs back to the pot. Sprinkle the sweet paprika evenly over the top of all the chicken. Add the bay leaves, rice, and remaining chicken stock, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer (reduce heat to medium-low), cover, and cook for about 30 minutes, rice is cooked through and the chicken (internal temperature reads 165-degrees F.) is fall-off-the-bone tender.

Uncover, add the peas and garnish with finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley.

To Serve: Spoon in the rice mixture, first, into the bottom of a porcelain serving bowl, top with two chicken thighs, finish with a little more Italian parsley. Serve hot.

.Notes: Fill a large mixing bowl with cold water. Add the rice. Stirring occasionally, allow any starch from the rice to release into the water. Rinse a second time or until the water remains clear. This will ensure the rice won’t get clumpy in the finished dish.

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Fennel And Garlic Bone-In Pork Loin

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This was a special Easter for Steve and me, it was our 10th one together. To make it extra special and served family-style is my Garlic And Fennel Bone-In Pork Loin along with my Garlic Roasted Potatoes With Sautéed Peppers and Lemon Pepper Asparagus. 

I’ve posted links, for both, my other two recipes, they’re available at the end of this post.

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Cesar Dressing

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Yields: 4 servings (2 chops per person)
Equipment: roasting pan with a rack, 1 (10-cup) food processor, plastic meat cutting board, chef’s knife, whisk, 1 (2-cup) glass measuring cup

Ingredients:
1 (5-pound) bone-in pork loin, bones French cut
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/3 cup of rosemary leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons of lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 tablespoons of Creamy Caesar dressing
1 heaping tablespoon of Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients For Pan Gravy:
1/4 stick of butter, unsalted
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups of unsalted chicken broth
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of the pan drippings
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Note: Pork loin needs to be at room temperature. Allow the meat to sit out for 30 minutes before cooking.

Place the pork, fat side up, in a roasting pan just large enough to hold it comfortably. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the garlic, rosemary, and fennel seeds until roughly chopped. Add the Caesar dressing, olive oil, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper until it becomes a smooth paste. Transfer the mixture to a small mixing bowl, add the lemon zest, mix to combine.

Rub the mixture all over the top of the pork and roast for 1 to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature is between 140 and 145-degrees F. Remove from the oven, transfer to a meat-safe cutting board and cover tightly with foil. Allow the pork to rest for 30 minutes. Slice between the bones and serve immediately.

While the pork is resting start the pan gravy.
Carefully pour the hot liquid from the roasting pan through a mesh sieve into a measuring cup. This will allow you to see how many pans dripping liquid you have.

Place the roasting pan on top of the stove on medium-high heat. Add the butter and allow to melt. Once the butter’s melted, add the flour, whisk to combine until a smooth paste (*roux) forms, and is blond in color. Still whisking slowly add the pan drippings and chicken broth, bring to a simmer. Continue to whisk, the *roux will cause the gravy to thicken. Add the parsley, stir to combine. Transfer the gravy to a large gravy boat.

There you have it my Fennel And Garlic Bone-In Pork Loin.

*Roux is a 1:2 ratio of fat to all-purpose flour.

Roasted Potatoes With Sautéed Peppers

Lemon Pepper Asparagus 

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Meatloaf With Sundried Tomatoes

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Meatloaf is a favorite in my house. I’m always trying to reintroduce new flavors into my meatloaf. Whether I’m trying different types of ground meat or adding different ingredients, meatloaf is comfort food.

I want to talk about my gravy for this dish. Sometimes I like to make a gravy that’s more in the style of an Au Jus. What I mean is, it’s more on the brothier side than a thicker style gravy. I’ll get into more detail later.

I’m making this meatloaf with ground chicken. It’s leaner and I can play around with some new flavors. This is my Meatloaf With Sun-Dried Tomatoes.

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 Servings
Equipment: 1 (12-inc) sauté pan, 1  rimmed baking sheet pan

Ingredients:
2 pounds of ground chicken (substitute ground turkey)
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 sweet onion, diced
1 red and yellow bell pepper, diced
1 Poblano pepper diced, (substitute green bell pepper)
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 cloves grated garlic
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 large eggs
1/4 cup Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup half and half
5 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Ketchup
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 3/4 cups seasoned Italian breadcrumbs

Gravy:
2 cups chicken stock, unsalted
2 cups beef stock, unsalted
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste (Kosher salt)

Side Dish: 2 (15-ounce) bags frozen petite Green Peas

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and diced peppers, cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft but not browned. Set aside to cool.

Place all the ingredients, from the list above, into a large mixing bowl adding the breadcrumbs last. Mix together until you get the consistency of wet sand. To that add the cooled sautéed onions and peppers and the chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Mix to combine.

Finally, add the meat. With clean hands, gently toss the mixture together, making sure it’s combined but not compacted.

Place a piece of parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet pan. Transfer the meat mixture over to the lined sheet pan. Pat the meat into a flat rectangle and then press the sides in until the meat forms a cylinder down the middle of the pan. This will ensure there will be no air pockets. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the internal temperature, in the middle, reads 155-160-degrees F.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. There you have it my Meatloaf With Sundried Tomatoes.

Directions For the Gravy:
To a 3-quart saucepot add 2 cups chicken stock, 2 cups of beef stock, and 5 sprigs of fresh thyme. Over medium heat, bring the liquid up to a simmer. Salt and pepper to taste.

In a small bowl, add 4 tablespoons of cornstarch to 4 tablespoons of cold water. Whisk together until smooth paste forms. Whisk the *slurry (cornstarch/water mixture) into the saucepot with the broth (chicken/beef) until the liquid comes back up to a bubble, 2-3 minutes. Fish out the thyme sprigs.

*Slurry:  Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of cold water. Whisk until smooth paste forms. Add the slurry into the hot, simmering liquid you want to thicken. 2 tablespoons per cup will give you a thicker, more gravy-like consistency.

Homestyle Baked Mac & Cheese

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