Saturday, January 31, 2015

Southwest Grilled Chicken and Rice

Like many I use cooking as an outlet for creativity. Sometimes it works and what I have in my mind really does come alive in the final dish. And honestly sometimes it doesn't.......

However this time it did!

While there is a fair amount of cookbooks in this house, sometimes the creative bug takes over. I also like recipes that can be broken down into steps that are manageable as time permits.

This dish is a combination of marinated and grilled chicken, over creamy brown rice, finished in the oven. And it is delicious if I do say so myself. I hope you give it a try.

grab a fork, it is time for dinner

Southwest Grilled Chicken and Rice
by the seat of my pants!
serves 4-6

6 - 8 chicken thighs, skinned
1 bunch fresh cilantro, snap off excessive stem
2-4 T oil (use a mild oil, like avocado)
1 T vinegar
1 rounded t Penzy's Arizona Seasoning or dash of chili, cumin and oregano
1 clove garlic, minced

Place cilantro, 2 T oil, vinegar, seasoning and minced garlic in a food processor. Pulse until cilantro is finely chopped. You may have to scrap down the sides of the processor bowl, use more oil if needed. You want a minced cilantro slurry, not a smooth sauce.

Place chicken and marinade in a plastic bag. Secure top of bag after removing excess air. Gently knead the contents so that the chicken is coated well. Refrigerate until ready to grill the chicken, 24 to 48 hours. We grilled at the 48 hour mark and the flavor is wonderful.

Grill chicken to brown outside edges, however it should not be completely cooked, as this dish is finished in the oven.

To finish:

Grilled chicken
3 c cooked rice, brown or white
1 c sour cream
1 small can diced mild chilies
1 large green bell pepper, roasted, skinned and de-seeded, diced
garlic salt
fresh ground pepper if desired
1 small bunch cilantro, remove excess stem and chopped
1 c mild cheddar cheese

Combine cooked rice, sour cream, chilies, and roasted bell pepper, garlic salt and pepper.

Place in the bottom of a 2 qt casserole dish.

Sprinkle with cilantro, then cheese. Arrange grilled chicken over rice mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees 35-45 minutes or until bubbly.

Serves 4 - 6

Serve with your favorite salsa if desired. Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

recipe rating:  Oh yes, will make again!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Tips for flavoring, shaping and baking yeast breads - 2

The fun part of having bulk dough, ready to be baked is in creating loaves of different flavored breads. It is quite simple and the results will only be limited by the contents of your own pantry. I think it is fair game to say; just about anything goes, from sweet to savory.

One of my favorite loaves of bread is a chunky cheese loaf. I have a little trick for getting the cheese to stay in chunks during the baking process, instead of melting and floating away. This savory loaf contains sharp cheddar cubes and garlic chives from the garden.

Using a small cantaloupe size ball of dough, torn into pieces, add 1 c sharp cheddar cubes and approximately 1/3 c chives.

Knead the chives and cheddar (kneading right in the bowl, works well and does not require additional flour) into the dough. When combined bring dough into a ball, with the cheese and chives worked through out the dough. Shape into a loaf, place in prepared loaf pan. Cover with toweling or plastic wrap to let rise.

I wanted to share some homemade bread with my senior tenants at work and for this I decided to make mini loaves. This was very easy to do. Using two grapefruit size balls of dough, shape into a loaf, place on each end of the loaf pan. Cover with toweling or plastic wrap to let rise.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350. Bake 35-45 minutes or until done. If desired you can paint the surface of the bread with the cornstarch wash, during the last 10 minutes of baking. Keep in mind the larger loaf will take longer to bake.

Both of these little loaves will be shared with a couple of my tenants. They are just the right size for a family of one!

This loaf stays home........

Cheese trick? I have been doing this for a long time and it works great. The night before you intend to bake, dice up some cheese. You may leave it on the cutting board or transfer it to a plate. Do not cover. I leave it out on the counter however, you may place it in a cupboard if desired. The goal is to have the outside surfaces of the cheese dry out a bit, this keeps the cheese from melting during the baking process.

Not only is having stored dough handy, the variety is delicious!

You may view Tips for flavoring, shaping and baking yeast breads - 1 here.

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!