Sunday, 25 January 2009

Chicken and White Wine Stew with light and fluffy rice

There is nothing better on a rainy Sunday then sitting next to an open fire watching a movie followed by a heart warming stew. The Kite Runner was the movie of choice and as a tear jerker it comes high in the ranking. Having read the book, a must read, there is more in it then the film can show but definitely a worthwhile watch.

The stew I chose was Chicken and white wine with light and fluffy rice by Jamie Oliver, Ministry of Food. This stew was basic and easy to make yet was so full of flavour and texture. My husband’s only disappointment was there was not enough left for him to take to work tomorrow for lunch.
One of my pet hates is making rice, I have never got on with it and have to put my hands up and say I usually give in and use microwave rice! However the method of cooking Jamie’s “light and fluffy rice”, a method I had never come across before, was so simple and effective it will definitely be the method we cook basic rice in this house from now on. A perfect Sunday dinner to prepare us to a long awaited start of Lost Season 5, I’ve missed the sight and sounds of sexy Sawyer (Josh Holloway)!!

Chicken and White Wine Stew with light and fluffy rice

Serves 4-6

2 sticks of celery
2 medium onions
2 carrots
Olive oil
1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
500g diced, boneless, skinless chicken thighs
500ml white wine

If using the oven to cook your stew, preheat it to 200oC/400oF/gas 6. Trim the ends off your celery and roughly chop the sticks. Peel and roughly chop the onions. Peel the carrots, slice lengthways and roughly chop. Put a casserole pan on a medium heat. Put all the vegetables and your chosen herb into the pan with 2 lugs of olive oil and fry for 10 minutes. Add your meat and flour. Pour in the booze and tinned tomatoes. Give it a good stir, then season with a teaspoon of sea salt (less if using table salt) and a few grinds of pepper. Bring to the boil, put the lid on a either simmer slowly on your hob or cook in an oven for 1 ½ hours. Remove the lid for the final half hour of simmering or cooking. When done, your meat should be tender and delicious. Remember to remove any bay leaves or herb stalks before serving, and taste it to see if it needs a bit more salt and pepper.

Light and Fluffy Rice

Serves 4

Sea salt
350g basmati rice

Put a large pan of salted water on high heat and bring to the boil. Rinse the rice in a colander under running water for about 1 minute, or until the water runs clear (this will stop the grains sticking together later). Add your rice to the boiling water and wait for the grains to start around. From that point, boil for 5 minutes. Drain the rice in a colander. Pour 2.5cm of water into the pan, put it back on the heat and bring it to the boil again, then turn down to a simmer. Cover the rice in the colander with foil or a lid. Place the colander on top of the pan of simmering water and let the rice steam over it for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and if you’re ready, serve immediately. If not, leave the foil or lid on and put aside until ready to serve - it should stay warm for about 20 minutes.


Beth (jamandcream) said...

I made Jamies rice today for the first time - can't believe how good it was and how much difference it made. The stew looks fab too

Anna's kitchen table said...

Maria, that looks really good.
I swear by my rice cooker now - it's great!

Anonymous said...

seems quite a complicated way to make rice. The only way I make rice is in the oven. I realise that this is uneconomical/un-environmentally friendly if you aren't using the oven anyway, but lots of the things you have with rice are cooked in the oven, so it may well be on. We also find the oven heats our chilly kitchen nicely, so all that 'wasted heat' does not in fact go to waste!

You will need a flame proof casserole dish such as a le creuset with a good-fitting lid.

Heat oven to 180°C/Gas Four.
Into your le cresuet bung basmati rice (1 american cup is about enough for four people,) a wee teaspoon of salt, spices of your choice, and twice the volume of water to rice (so one cup rice, two cups water).

Bring to the boil on the hob and then transfer to the middle/top of the oven. In twenty minutes you will have perfect rice, no straining required!

If you cook it for a little too long, you'll be fine- at worst the very top layer will be a bit dry, but if you've used a deep but small circumference dish this won't be much. Equally, if you are cooking something else at a different temperature, moving the rice up or down the oven will be fine- it is an INCREDIBLY forgiving recipe.

For added flavours I always add a selection from the following: a bay leaf; one or two cardamon pods; a pinch of cumin seeds; a pinch of black pepper corns; two or three cloves; a pinch of coriander seeds. All impart a lovely aroma to the rice. The cumin you just eat, everything else is big enough to push to the side of your plate, with fork or hands as your table etiquette dictates.

Give it a try, I think it's the only way!!

arista said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

This looks great! The stew looks wonderful.

Maria said...

The rice looks perfect. I bet the stew is amazing too!

Reeni said...

What a delicious comforting meal after seeing a tearjerker! I can't wait to try Jamie's method for making rice.

hungryandfrozen said...

This looks delicious - I love a nice hearty stew. I've always made my rice in the microwave ever since I can remember and it comes out perfect. 1 cup rice, 2 cups water, 12 minutes on high. Has never failed me :)

Finla said...

Looks like you are posting more dinner dishes.
I love stew like these.
I made your cake it came out super delicious.
Will post them later today.

The Blonde Duck said...

Delicious! I love simple, earthy dishes like this!

Coby said...

Maria, how have you found this Jamie book (MoF)? I wonder if I should put it on my great wishlist of cookbooks? I love simple meals like this - not the weather for it here now, but winter time has to bring it's rewards right?:) It looks yummy btw!

arista said...

sounds gorgeous - perfect for in front of the tv on a cold night. I'll definitely be trying this one.

To wade into the rice debate - 1 mug of basmati, 2 and a bit mugs of hot water, stir together in a bowl (I use a 3 litre pyrex one), cook uncovered on high in microwave for 14 mins or so. Works every time for me!

(I removed my 1st post because I noticed a typo and couldn't correct it without deleting first!)

Maria♥ said...

Thanks everyone for the lovely comments as always. I would also like to thank those who posted and suggested other methods of making rice, those will come in handy.

Coby, I am enjoying the book alot and it delivers simple, no-fail easy meals. I would definitely recommend it.


Oh my! Apple pie! said...

Maria it looks delicious, and your rice looks perfect too.

Anne said...

Looks delicious and warming! We have been using thighs a lot more, so much more economical and tastier I think!

I'm always amazed at how many methods there are to cook rice, I always heat a nob of butter, add a cup of rice, mix well and let it cook for about 1 minute, add a cup + half of water, cover, bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes, remove from heat and leave to its own devices for 10 minutes, always perfect :)

The Girl said...

Saw this on your blog and I shall be attempting to make it tonight!! I actually have the book and haven't looked through it yet but your picture looked so lovely I will have to have a closer look. The rice sounds far too complicated for me so I shall be doing it the way I've always done it - the way my Mum showed me! I only hope mine turns out looking as nice as yours. Wish me luck!!

Amy J said...

Looks lovely! I am going to make this soon. Thanks for sharing!

PS, love your comment about "Butter VS. Margarine", very true!