STREET CART-STYLE CHICKEN AND RICE
Deb Perelman’s new book, “Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New Favorites” (Knopf, $35), was at the top of a stack of books I brought home from work when I started this #30atHome challenge. I spent New Year’s Day making a rough guesstimate of what I wanted to make that week and the following. I made this street cart-style chicken and rice right away, but the Marsala meatballs kept getting pushed back. Because of the sticky notes I was using, I could simply push the dish to another week rather than forget about it altogether.
I followed Perelman’s marinade recipe closely but used a few shortcuts in the rest of the dish, such as a bag of Dole coleslaw salad and a less-cumin-y rice cooked with a (new-to-me) Trader Joe’s turmeric ghee. Instead of making a yogurt sauce, I thinned out a store-bought tzatziki with a little White Mountain Bulgarian yogurt. Two slices of Trader Joe’s naan later, and we had the very best homemade dinner I’ve prepared in a while. For the marinade: Juice of 1 lemon 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon paprika (sweet, hot or smoked) 3/4 teaspoon ground
coriander 1 1/2 teaspoons ground
cumin Pinch of ground cloves 1 teaspoon oregano 2 pounds (about 6) boneless, skinless chicken thighs 1 tablespoon olive oil For the rice: 1 teaspoon olive oil 1/4 teaspoon turmeric 1/4 teaspoon ground
cumin 1 cup basmati or another long-grain white rice 1 1/2 cups water 1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine lemon juice, garlic, salt and spices for the marinade in a large plastic ziptop bag. Squeeze the plastic to combine, and then add the chicken thighs. Squish the bag so the spice and olive oil mixture coats the meat. Refrigerate and marinate for 30 minutes or up to two days.
When ready to cook, heat a heavy-bottom skillet over medium-high heat. Add a thin layer of oil and cook three thighs at a time, letting the chicken brown for about 5 minutes before flipping. Cook on the other side for another 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the first batch of chicken from the pan and repeat with remaining chicken. Wipe out the pan.
Slice all the chicken into long strips and add back to the pan to finish cooking. Meantime, heat the olive oil for the rice in a medium saucepan. Add the spices and rice, stirring to coat. (I used a teaspoon of Trader Joe’s turmeric ghee and 1/4 teaspoon cumin.)
Cook for about 3 minutes, and then add the water and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook on low for 15 minutes.
Serve chicken and rice with naan and a salad, topped with any yogurt sauce of your liking, cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.
This street cart-style chicken and rice is from Deb Perelman’s “Smitten Kitchen Every Day.”