Chicken and Rice Pilaf Skillet Supper

Aired September 11, 2012

Serves 4
2 generous pinches saffron threads
1/3 pound thin green beans, trimmed and halved across
1 cup fresh spring peas
2 pieces bone-in, skin-on chicken breast
2 small onions, 1 quartered and 1 finely chopped
1 rib celery, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 large bay leaf
2 tablespoons EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup broken pieces of thin spaghetti or orzo
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon, a generous pinch
A small handful of golden raisins
1 Meyer lemon, very thinly sliced
Toasted slivered almonds, to garnish

Bring 2 inches water to boil in skillet, Remove 1 cup boiling water, pour over saffron and reserve. Add salt to water; add beans and peas, and par-boil 3-4 minutes. Drain and reserve. Place chicken in skillet skin-side down and add quartered onion, celery, carrot and bay leaf. Cover with a couple of inches of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer to poach the chicken, about 20 minutes. Remove chicken and let cool. Strain stock into a bowl and reserve. Return skillet to the stove.

Remove chicken bones and skin. Slice or pull chicken into large bite-sized pieces.

Heat EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, in skillet over medium to medium-high heat; add butter and melt. When butter foams, add pasta and toast to golden. Add finely chopped onion, and garlic to pasta, and stir 2-3 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add rice and stir 1 minute more. Add the wine and stir to evaporate it into rice. Add about 3 cups of reserved poaching liquid plus the saffron water, 1 quart of liquid total. Add cinnamon, raisins and lemon; stir to bring to boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook 15 minutes, add chicken and peas and beans and cook 2-3 minutes more until rice is tender and chicken is warm through. Serve from the skillet garnished with toasted almonds.

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