Friday, July 18, 2008

Asian Chicken Thighs with Filthy Rice

I got an e mail from a reader in Washington State who has a husband and two growing boys and wanted something 'different' to do with chicken legs and thighs. They go on sale often and are inexpensive and she is incredibly tired of baked and barbecued. bored no more. As far as I am concerned this is the tastiest part of the chicken and I am delighted to share preparation methods. I grew up in a large family and I understand the needs of hearty eaters.

6 chicken thighs
Soy sauce
Ground Anise

2 cups rice
1/2 cup lentils (any color)
1 Italian sausage link
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
4 and 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Olive oil

1 head of bok choy
1 lime

The night before, take your 4 chicken thigh/drum pieces and dredge heavily in ground anise. Place skin side down in a shallow pan filled 1/2 inch with soy sauce. Refrigerate uncovered.

The next morning turn the chicken over so it is skin side up, sprinkle with some more anise and leave until dinner time. You want the skin of the chicken to dry.

Take 1/2 cup dry lentils and one cup water and bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover and set the time for 20 minutes. When done, drain.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place thighs skin side down in a wok or pan with some hot peanut oil and sear for about 5 minutes on each side. Place in hot oven.

Remove the sausage from the casing (If you don't have Italian use an equivalent amount of Jimmy Dean or some other type), Brown in the pan you will be using for your rice and set aside. Remove the browned sausage and add a touch of olive oil and saute the chopped onion. When the onion is beginning to brown throw in the garlic, a minute the later the rice, followed by the chicken stock and the lentils. While it is coming to a boil finely chop your now cooled sausage to tiny bits. When boiling add sausage, turmeric, red pepper and a little salt if your stock was not well salted. Cover and set the timer for 20 minutes.

Wash and chop your bok choy into one inch pieces.

When the rice is done check the chicken, about 40 minutes should have passed and the juices should run clear, when chicken is done turn off the oven and set your plates in to warm.

Toss the bok choy in a hot wok or skilled with a little olive oil and salt. When it is hot, but not mushy turn off the heat and toss with the lime juice.

Arrange the food on warm plates and serve.

This is an ample meal for 4 ( I am assuming two pieces of chicken per growing boy) and the lentils up the nutrition and fiber content significantly. If you make it for two (as I did) all the leftovers make a great fried rice the following day.

A meal that is budget conscious enough to qualify as a food for the New Depression.

No comments: