There are two extremes when it comes to recipes. There are the soul-wrenching deeply-intricate 40-step recipes and then there are the Rachel Ray Sandra Lee Every Day Food 20-second recipes that appeal to working moms or non-working moms with slow reflexes. This recipe is mostly the latter with a hint of the former: it’s an easy to assemble, wildly rewarding dish that I learnt to make my first year of law school. Let’s admire the end product first so you can see what all the fuss is about, before we proceed:
That’s Brazilian chicken with olives! Doesn’t it look terrific? The picture doesn’t lie: what you can sense, perhaps, in that picture is a profound cohesion of chicken, rice, garlic, and cilantro, all in a moist heap surrounded by oranges. Wouldn’t a dish like this make you perky? Or at least Brazilian? (Bikini wax, notwithstanding.)
The recipe comes from (where else?!) Epicurious. Click here to view it. And because you can view it there, I won’t reproduce it here. I’ll simply walk you through the crucial steps.
The flavoring agents at the top are 4 cloves of garlic, 1 tsp of orange zest and orange juice (which gets added later):
You add these to hot oil and already a bizarre exotic perfume infuses the air. Garlic and orange zest, who’d a thunk?
Next you add the chicken thighs. The secret to this whole dish lies in those chicken thighs: boneless, skinless chicken thighs. If you watch Food TV you’ve probably heard at least one cook say: “Chicken thighs have way more flavor than other parts of the chicken.” And it’s true: they’re richer in flavor and also way way moister. You cut them into 1/2 inch strips here and add them to the garlic, zest and oil and brown for a few minutes.
After that, you add the orange juice and 1 cup of water and bring to a boil:
You should keep your eye on the garlic before this step and when it starts to brown immediately add the liquid to stop it. Nothing can ruin a dish like this more than burnt garlic.
Now then. Once at a boil, you add a package of yellow rice, the seasoning packet, and 1 cup of green olives stuffed with pimentos: (I couldn’t find pimento stuffed olives so I just used small green pitted ones):
You cover that and simmer for 20 minutes (double check that in the recipe, but I’m pretty sure it’s right), take off the heat and let rest for 10, then stir in cilantro, surround with orange wedges and you’re done. And it’s an awesome meal in just a little bit more than 30 minutes.
Oh no. I’m turning into Rachel Ray…. 30 minute meals… E.V.O.O… how appropriate for Halloween! I shall terrify you with my perkiness! Wahahahahahaha….