Monday, August 1, 2011

Chicken and Red Peppers with Rice and Sauteed Asparagus

I don't want to alarm anyone here, but I need to tell you all something very important: it is currently asparagus season. Asparagus is woody and gross the rest of the year, but in June, it is amazing. Go buy some now!

This recipe is a way simpler Chicken Basquaise, though it would seem that it takes the same amount of time. But, I stress, that it's still way easier.

Chicken and Red Peppers
1 chicken thigh
3 red peppers, seeded and sliced thinly
1 onion, sliced thinly
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp paprika
cooked rice. I should note that this was my first successful attempt in making basmati rice. The key? Read the package and follow the directions. What a crazy world!

Heat some oil in a pan on low and throw in throw in the red peppers, onion and garlic. We want to caramelize these, so keep the stove on very low and stir it every once in a while. This step takes maybe 30 minutes. If you have the confidence, go read a book or something, but keep your ears and nose sharp for loud sizzling or a strong pepper smell. This means that it's burning, or very close to it. If it's about to burn, add some water to the pan and scrape up the brown bits. Actually, you're going to want to do this the entire time.

When everything is nice and soft, and the onions are little tangled messes, stir in the paprika and put in your chicken, skin side down. If everything looks very dry, add maybe 1/4 cup of water. Cover and let this slowly cook for about 10 minutes. Check for burning and turn the chicken every 10 minutes until cooked, maybe another 30 minutes. It should be falling off the bone.

When that's done, extract the bone (I used a pair of tongs and a fork) and shred the meat a bit. Stir it around so that it's covered in sauce. Serve with rice!

There are a lot of ways to make asparagus, but first, some basics. When buying asparagus, try to get the thinnest ones. Also, make sure they are nice and green, and don't look like they're going to crumble in your hand as soon as you get home.

When you're ready to cook them, break off the bottom ends. This will ensure that you actually break off the woody parts, otherwise you'll be chewing this stuff forever. I like to give the stems a good peel, as well.

Heat a pan with some oil and toss the asparagus in. Toss to cook evenly, sprinkle with a dash of salt and put on a nice plate. You can also cook these on a grill or in the oven. Squeeze some lemon on it before you're ready to eat.

I like it chopped up in salads, or just as a nice side dish. Just make sure you're not giving any urine samples in the next couple of days, or you will make some lab technician's job even more unpleasant than usual.

1 comment:

  1. Mmmmm, sounds so good... I love Chicken Basquaise but I always go out to eat it. An easy at-home version is just what I need!