Richard Blais' Chicken and Walnut Stew with Cauliflower Rice

by Richard Blais 3:00 AM, March 26, 2018

Aired March 26, 2018

Serves 4

1/4 teaspoon saffron, dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
Pinch of MSG (monosodium glutamate) and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups shelled walnuts (about 1 pound), toasted and pulsed or finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 to 2 cups pomegranate molasses
1/2 cup grated butternut squash
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons sugar or to taste
1 head cauliflower, stemmed and chopped
1/4 cup chopped parsley
A handful blueberries


In a small bowl, combine saffron with 2 tablespoons hot water; set aside.

Season chicken thighs with MSG and pepper, then dredge in flour. In a skillet, heat oil then sear chicken until golden-brown. Reserve on a paper towel-lined plate.

To the same skillet, add walnuts, onion, molasses, squash, cinnamon, chicken broth, sugar to taste, and reserved saffron-infused water. Cook until a gravy forms, 20 to 30 minutes. Return chicken to the pan to finish cooking for 15 minutes more.

While gravy and chicken cook, in a food processor, pulse cauliflower into small pieces so they resemble rice. Steam or gently warm in a pan to cook through. (Alternately, for an aromatic version, warm cauliflower “rice” with butter, chopped parsley, a cinnamon stick, a few cloves and a piece of star anise.)

Serve chicken over cauliflower “rice” and top with parsley and blueberries.


Kirstie Alley's Parmesan Chicken and Veggies

Walnut & Rice Chicken Stir-Fry

Anne Burrell’s Figs Stuffed with Gorgonzola and Walnuts