My freezer invariably contains a bag or two of chicken stock stashed away in ziptop bags. I never know when the need might arise, perhaps as a base for a soup or to make a rice pilaf brimming with an extra punch of flavor. I’m not a fan of using “perfect” to describe recipes but this is the recipe that works for me and the one I go to most often. It’s aromatic and tastes of chicken. A stock is so much more than a collection of spices, chicken bits and veggies, it reflects who you are, where you’ve been and will be a good indicator of what spices and flavors you cherish the most.Read More
For the past few weeks, I've realized I'm terrible when it comes to saving time during the week and for that matter sticking to clean eating habits. Don't get me wrong, I love to eat out and try new things whenever possible but it starts to add up and things can get rather expensive. Consequently, I've been trying to get my act together and start planning out our weekly meals. There are a bunch of new one pot meals that I've been working on and I've kept one recurring theme in mind, little effort but bold flavors.
Though I can cook for hours, I hate, hate washing dishes and wiping the kitchen table down after I'm done. There are times when I want to snap my fingers or twitch my nose in the hope that my mess cleans itself up. Unfortunately, it doesn't but there is one thing that can happen to make all of this a little less crazy. Through trial and error, I've figured out what works best for me and I've learned to set realistic goals with a more practical approach. Less prep work and cooking time translates to more free time to do other things and it makes me very, very happy!
By using a rotisserie chicken, I've cut back on a lot of time that would have otherwise been spent at the stove/oven. From shredding to chopping to simply serving it as is, the meat can be used in lots of tasty ways and you can add it to dishes such as this pilaf to make a hearty meal..
This one pot meal is very aromatic and flavorful. Basmati rice has it's own floral scent and that fragrance when infused with cardamom and bay leaves makes one spectacular dish. The chickpeas and chicken in the pilaf are infused with an extra layer of flavor from this delicious Progresso stock, turmeric and ginger root. I prefer to use the unsalted version of Progresso's chicken stock to control the taste of the dish but you can use their regular one too.
Here are some of my kitchen notes that you might find helpful when preparing this dish;
- Use a good rotisserie chicken. I like to use the herb seasoned or lemon seasoned ones in this particular dish as they add great flavor to the rice and chickpeas.
- As always, I recommend leaving the whole spices in the rice when serving. It showcases what to expect in terms of flavor and taste and makes a great garnish.
- Use long grain basmati rice, preferably the Indian one. The other varieties don't taste as good and don't give the same aroma or flavor.
spiced chickpeas an chicken pilaf
yields: 4 to 6 servings
2 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
1 cup red onion, diced
2 tablespoons julienned peeled ginger root
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 15 ounce cans chickpeas, drained
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne powder
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 cup basmati/long grain rice, washed and drained
4 black peppercorns or 2 long black peppercorns
2 green cardamom pods, cracked
3 bay leaves
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, skin discarded
2 cups Progresso unsalted chicken stock
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee/olive oil in a dutch oven on medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until light pink. Then add the ginger and turmeric and cook for 1 minute. Fold in the chickpeas, salt, and chili powder, cover the dutch oven with its lid and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the dutch oven from stove and transfer the contents to a large mixing bowl, add 1 tablespoon of cilantro and keep aside
2. In the same dutch oven, heat the remaining ghee/oil. Add the drained rice, peppercorns, green cardamom, and bay leaves. Cook the rice and spices constantly stirring for about 2 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and stock to the rice and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the dutch oven with its lid and allow the rice to cook, undisturbed for about 15 to 20 minutes. The rice is cooked when the water has completely evaporated and the grains are tender. Fold in the chickpeas and cook for another minute. Remove from stove, garnish with remaining cilantro and serve warm.