Daring Cooks August 2009 / Rice with Mushrooms, Chicken, and Artichoke

This is the last cooking challenge for the month of August. This is a recipe from Jose Andres. He is a well known Spanish chef who resides and owns restaurants in the Washington D.C. area. Mario Batalli highly recommends his cuisine. I almost got to visit Andres’ El Jaleo! I’m thrilled with how is scrumptious this recipe turned out.

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Originally it called for cuttlefish. Well, I had no luck finding any in the Milwaukee or Orlando areas. The Daring Cooks suggested subbing chicken for anyone uncomfortable with cuttlefish or, if it was unavailable in our region. In the beginning, I didn’t feel chicken particularly fit in this dish. Fortunately I subbed it in anyways. SO GLAD I DID. It was excellent. The whole dish was excellent. It is composed of a couple different entities. One of the three can made ahead of time.

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The first component is a sofregit which can be made in advance. I’m thinking this is may very well be likened to the Spanish equivalent of a sofrito mixture (used in the the Puerto Rican food culture) . Basically, it is used as a seasoning in the final dish. I love that other cultures employ the use of these seasoning mixtures. My Puerto Rican friend said ” I don’t understand when Americans cook why they always start from the very beginning. Every time they get onions and garlic and everything out. With sofirito it’s already done, I just take my container out and scoop some in…It saves so much time” I agree. I’m thinking a lot more Americans would cook more if the first couple steps were already done. I’m loving this new (to me) Spanish sofregit, although it takes a lot longer to produce then sofrito.

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The second component to this dish is an allioli, basically this very much like a homemade garlic mayo. Oh yes people its amazing. Thick. Creamy. Garlicy. OK maybe alittle TOO garlicy. I adapted an allioli recipe from one of my favorite chefs Geoffrey Zakarian. I may have a small crush on him… shhhhhh don’t tell my hubby. Anyways I figured since I love garlic I’d double the amount given…..It was good but it had quite a bite to it.

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The last component is the final dish. Man is it good…it’s even worth the garlic breath you will spend the rest of the day (or night) trying to get rid of……..

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SOFREGIT
(from challenge by Jose Andres)
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 big red ripe tomatoes (preferably from your local farmers market), chopped
2 small onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, chopped or minced
1 cup button or portobello mushrooms, chopped
1 Bay leaf
salt
pepper
a pinch ground cumin
a pinch dried oregano

– Throw everything except salt and pepper into a saucepan and sauté/simmer on low until the veggies are soft.
-Season with salt and pepper as necessary. Remove from heat.

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ALLIOLI
(adapted from Geoffrey Zakarian’s Aioli recipe in the Summer Food Network Magazine)

2 large pasteurized egg yolks
1 large clove garlic (or if you like it super garlicky 2 large cloves)
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup red wine with pomegranate vinegar
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 teaspoons chopped chives
2 cups canola oil.

– In a food processor or blender place all ingredients except canola oil. Pulse to combine.
– Run motor on medium and stream in canola oil. The resulting mixture should look like a thick creamy mayo. Salt and pepper to taste.

RICE WITH MUSHROOMS, CHICKEN, AND ARTICHOKES.
(Challenge recipe from Jose Andres)

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds chicken thighs, skinned, defatted, and sliced in to small strips
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and cut into eighths
12 button mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
2 bay leaves
1/4 -1/2 cup white wine
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 cups short grain spanish rice
2 cups chicken stock
the sofregit
the allioli

– Drizzle the olive oil into the pan, add the chicken and sauté over medium heat.
– Add mushrooms, artichokes and bay leaves. sauté.
– Add the white wine to the pan. Stir to combine and let cook one or two minutes
– Add about 1/3 cup sofregit.
– In liquid measuring cup combine chicken stock with 1/4 teaspoon turmeric. Pour into pan and bring to boil.
– Once the mixture is boiling, add the rice stirring only to combine. Increase the meat to medium high and let boil for 5 minutes.
-Turn heat to low and continue to simmer for 10-14 minutes.
– Pull pan off heat and allow to sit for a couple minutes before serving to allow rice to conitune absorbing the flavors.
-Mix in allioli to taste and serve.

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Hope you love this dish as much as I do!
Dream. Bake. Believe.
Love , Steffie

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