I was cruising blogs the other day and saw a photo and recipe name that struck my fancy on Cynthia's blog, Tastes Like Home. "Cook-up Rice". Hmmm... just sounded good to me, comforting and filling. In the post she said that she didn't have the recipe written down on the blog but if anyone wanted it, to email her. So I did. Nice lady. Everyone go see her blog. Then make her crazy by emailing her for the recipe because it's fabulous. You need it. (She's gonna hate me forever.)
Please note that my dish doesn't look like her dish but
all most of the important ingredients are there. Okay, I switched the beans, all right? I'm a gimp. I didn't want to go to the grocery for black-eyed peas. In my pantry, I had the choice of kidney, lima, garbanzo, lentils, or butter beans. I chose the last and it was delicious. Gene loved it too. Cynthia says this is a traditional Guyanese dish and they often serve it on Saturday nights with fried fish, fried plantains, and a fresh salad. Well, that sounds wonderful but I'm a whiney bitch today so Gene's going to have to go to Cynthia's house in Barbados if he wants all the accompaniments. He was lucky to get the chicken and rice, if you know what I mean, rather than being handed the phone and Pizza Hut's number. It was just one of those days.
I'm not going to give a recipe because you can email herself (I told you I was feeling hateful) and, more importantly, I didn't quite follow directions. Surely by now that's not really surprise, is it? Cynthia says to make the whole thing in a dutch oven. I said "Screw that! I'm not standing over a pot!" so I ended up throwing the whole thing in the oven and forgetting about it for an hour. I'm glad I remembered it, though, or we would have missed that delicious meal. I'm never making chicken and rice my old way ever again. I've already folded up the email and stuck it in my recipe box. Thanks, Cynthia!
I think the key to this dish is the fresh herbs and the coconut milk. Thyme is my favorite herb, always has been. I think I could almost suck the leaves off the stems. Almost. So because of the four sprigs of fresh thyme that went into it, Cook-up Rice is my entry in this week's Weekend Herb Blogging, created by Kalyn at Kalyn's Kitchen, hosted this week by this week by Ulrike of Kuchenlatein.
UPDATE: The recipe--MY VERSION--is now posted.
Cook-up Rice--Glenna's Version based on Taste Like Home from Cynthia:
1 cup light brown rice
1 15 oz can butter beans
1 14 oz can Lite Coconut Milk (Thai Kitchen)
4-- 5 oz chicken breasts
1 medium onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
1 sprig fresh basil, minced
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves pulled and minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Sear chicken over medium heat in heavy bottomed skillet with olive oil. Do not cook through. Place chicken in bottom of 8x8 casserole dish, crockware works very well for this type of dish.
2. Saute onion in same skillet until translucent, adding a little more oil if needed.
3. Combine all the ingredients except the chicken in a medium bowl and then pour over the chicken, making sure none of the rice gets stuck high and dry on top of the chicken.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until chicken is cooked through and rice has absorbed all of the coconut milk.
Cook's notes: In Cynthia's notes she said that the dish is typically made with a cut up chicken, salt pork, and salted beef. In my case I didn't have any of those and they weren't in the original list of ingredients so I made it more as the best chicken and rice casserole I've ever eaten. The coconut milk doesn't make it sweet, it just adds another dimension to the flavors that gives a depth and a smile factor. I was also thinking that next time it would be delcious to garnish it with spring onions and maybe even chopped pecans. I know that gets away from the traditional dish Cynthia sent me but it would be a lovely casserole.
Again, Thanks Cynthia!