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.

This dish is a traditional Cuban dish 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: 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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Chicken Tagine

 

Chicken Tagine (2)

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Chicken Tagine is a traditional Moroccan, and regional north African dish. The Tagine, above, can be compared to a Dutch oven. A Tagine is similar to the Dutch oven because it has a heavy bottom pot for the ingredients to rest in, evenly retains heat, and allows for condensation of water to rise to the top, of this pyramid-shaped tight-fitting lid, and slowly come back down to the bottom where the food is placed. This lets the food cook low and slow. It’s stovetop and oven safe.

I want to note, in most cases, Dutch ovens are usually made of cast iron and then covered with an enamel coating. The Tagine is made of ceramic and makes it slightly different when talking about preheating the pot. It’s REALLY important that there is always something in the Tagine, like oil, and that you start it on low heat.

The unique spice profile of preserved lemons and green olives adds a perfect balance to this braised chicken dish.

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Cilantro

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Chicken Tagine

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Chicken Tagine (2)

 

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 to 45 minutes
Total Cook Time: 1 hour
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:
8 chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in
2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil (or neutral-flavored oil)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper

2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil (or neutral-flavored oil)
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2-inch piece of ginger, freshly grated
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, lightly crushed
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, lightly crushed
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 heaping cup of sliced preserved lemon peels
1/4 heaping cup of pitted sliced green olives
1 large pinch of saffron threads
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2-inch dice
2 1/4 cups of chicken stock, unsalted
1 heaping tablespoon Agave nectar
2 tablespoons of cilantro leaves, finely chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Note:
If you don’t own a Tagine you can use a Dutch oven.
Due to the height of the Tagine, you may need to remove the top rack from the oven. The Tagine should be placed in the middle of the oven. You can use a Dutch oven to make this dish.

Season all 8 thighs with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil to the bottom pan of the Tagine. Start heating the pan on medium-low heat. Place 4 of the chicken thighs skin side down and then turn the heat up to medium. Do this in two batches so as not to overcrowd the chicken thighs. Once both batches have been browned nicely, about 10 to 12 minutes, remove the chicken thighs and set aside. Drain all fat from the bottom of the Tagine dish.

With the exception of the cinnamon stick, place all the spices from the ingredient list above in a sealed plastic baggie. Using a meat mallet lightly crush the spices.

Lower the heat to medium-low, add the 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil.  Add the shallots to the pan. Cook until soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and grated ginger and cook for about 30 seconds before adding the cinnamon sticks and all the lightly crushed spices. Cook for 1 minute more.

Add the butternut squash into the pot and stir to coat with the spices. Arrange the chicken thighs, skin-side up, on the top of the squash and shallots. Pour the chicken stock over the chicken. Add the Agave nectar. Spread the sliced olives and preserved lemons all over the top. Bring all this up to a gentle simmer, place the Tagine lid on and transfer to oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the internal temperature of chicken is 165-degrees F. and the chicken is tender.

Once the dish is done, remove the lid, scatter chopped cilantro over the top. Chicken Tagine pairs beautifully with your favorite couscous recipe.
Serve hot.

 

 

 

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Seafood Fettuccine

 

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Growing up in New Jersey we ate a lot of mussels. At the store, I found some beautiful ones and to go along with the mussels some beautiful shrimp. I thought a seafood pasta dish would be delicious. This is my Seafood Fettuccine.

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Saffron

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Olive Oil

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Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven, 6-quart saucepot, colander, hand-held lemon juicer

Ingredients:
2 pounds of mussels, beards removed and shells cleaned
2 pounds of jumbo shrimp, shelled, cleaned, deveined, and tails removed
1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter, unsalted
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of saffron
1 large onion, diced
3 cups of Roma tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon of Agave nectar
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 bottle of dry white wine (Pinot Grigio)
1 cup of chicken broth, unsalted
2 tablespoons of Pernod
2 lemons, sliced into rounds
3 tablespoons of lemon zest
1/3 cup of lemon juice, fresh squeezed
2 tablespoons of tarragon leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 1/2 boxes (1 1/2 pounds) of Fettuccine

Directions:
Cleaning the mussels is really easy. First, check for any *beards, pull them off. Fill up your sink with cold water and add 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour. Stir the flour through with your hands. Toss in the mussels. The mussels are like little filters and they’ll drink up the flour then spit it out along with any sand.

Drain and rinse them really well. Any mussels that aren’t closed, tap on the counter if they don’t close, on their own, get rid of them, they’re no longer alive. The same rule applies after they’re cooked. If they don’t open, throw them out they’re no good.

Peel and devein the shrimp and removing all the tails.

This dish cooks quickly. First, you want to have a large pot of salted boiling water ready, on the back burner. Second, it’s important to have all the vegetables prepped (according to the ingredient-list above) and set aside.

In a large preheated heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat add the olive oil and butter. Add the red pepper flakes, minced garlic, and lemon zest, stir to combine. Add the diced onions, season with the Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, stir, cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Moving forward, add the Pernod, lemon juice, and Agave nectar frequently stirring, add the diced tomatoes,, mix to combine. Add the white wine, unsalted chicken stock, and saffron bring the liquid up to a bubble, 3 to 5 minutes. Next, add the mussels, shrimp, and tarragon, stir one more time and cover. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes. This is the perfect time to drop the fettuccine.

Remove the lid, give another stir making sure all the mussels have opened and the shrimp are perfectly cooked.

Cook the pasta until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a pair of tongs, transfer the fettuccine to the pot containing the seafood. Add the chopped parsley and toss through.

The pasta will absorb the broth. If you feel you need to add a little more liquid add 1 or 2 ladles of the starchy pasta cooking liquid.

Garnish with lemon slices. I like to serve my Seafood Fettuccine with some crusty bread to soak up as much of the broth as possible.

*Beard: The beard also known as byssus threads. They”re filaments that the mussel uses to secure itself to hard surfaces. they’re usually brownish and may appear somewhat like seaweed.

*Pernod: Pernod is an Anise-flavored liqueur.

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