Italian rice with chicken

If you ever read Serendipity books as a child, you may recall the mouse Tweezle who worked hard to forage and preserve in anticipation of the coming winter. It’s another long, cold day where you notice it getting darker in the evenings, and with it comes a chance to use leftovers and feel virtuous.

Yesterday’s roast chicken (or your favorite vegetarian substitute) are re-purposed in today’s Italian rice. This meal is a lazy version of one in Food and Wine’s Quick Italian from Scratch, which has several dishes I like to make.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 cups of rice
  • 1 lb of vegetables such as peas, beets, spinach, asparagus and mushrooms (frozen is fine but takes less cooking time)
  • ~1 lb chicken, either roast leftovers or boneless thighs

Directions:

  • Boil the rice until tender, usually 10 minutes
  • While it boils, fry the chicken in a tablespoon or so of oil if you’re using raw chicken
  • With 2 tablespoons of stock, heat the vegetables in a pot, then add the rice and chicken

Bon appetit!

PS: Tomorrow’s dish should have an exciting and strange addition, stay tuned…

Sauteed scallops and green rice

After a hiatus I promised myself I wouldn’t mention, involving illness, heartache and new friends, seafood seems like a good place to start. A trip to the local market and we have fresh scallops, spinach and parsley from the home garden.

Ingredients:

  • 3 scallops per person, or 4 if you love them
  • Duck fat, frozen or fresh (I get it frozen at the local Asian supermarket), or butter or oil
  • A serving of rice per person (basic recipe)
  • Handfuls of fresh Italian parsley
  • A handful or several fresh beet greens
  • A handful of fresh or frozen spinach
  • 1-2 chopped green onions
  • Handful of pre-cooked chestnuts (optional)

Scallops:

  • Heat the pan to medium-high with duck fat or oil of choice
  • When the pan is sizzling hot, add scallops
  • All recipes say 2 minutes per side but if you didn’t get your pan hot enough, it can take 5 minutes or more
  • Cook until they don’t look translucent, they should get milky in appearance (nervous cooks can cut them in half to double-check)

Green rice:

  • Cook the rice in a pot, or add to pot after cooking
  • Add onions and greens, cook for a few minutes
  • Add parsley and crumbled chestnuts, cook for a few minutes longer or until hot through

Green rice is adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow’s wonderful book My Father’s Daughter. You can use whatever greens you have on hand, kale is a good option although I recommend cooking it first.

Bon appetit!