My good friend, Sammia, came to visit me from Germany. She and I have been friends for a long time, but have not seen each other in years. She has two kids, one who is practicing basketball for the German Olympics. Her other son, who is also my friend, lives in Northern California. Sammia and I always have a good time together, and that was why I wanted to make something special for her.
This Saffron Chicken and Rice Bake is very simple to make, yet flavorful. Just saute the vegetables and the chicken, put it over rice and saffron and mushroom soup, then just put it in the oven to finish cooking. How simple is that? You can make it, and go enjoy yourself with your family or guests. Asparagus is a good accompaniment, with a nice white wine, perhaps Chardonnay.
Don’t be afraid of saffron. Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus”. You can usually buy saffron at gourmet stores, or Mediterranean stores, or Amazon has a good selection.
This is a wonderful dish, warm and spicy. It’s also really easy to make, and a makes a good dinner on a busy weeknight. I really like this dish in the cold winter. When you make this, don’t crowd the pan. If you have more than 4 thighs, cook them in batches, whilst keeping the others warm. You can use any dry white wine, Chardonnay is a good choice. I served this with baked potato fries because I could dip the fries in the great sauce.
You can buy Red Pepper Sauce at Armenian or other Mediterranean stores. It’s basically paprika peppers, so there’s some small kick. A little bit is great with a dollop of sour cream on your scrambled eggs. I always have Armenian Red Pepper Sauce on hand just to jazz things up a bit.
Coq Au Vin is really peasant food. Originally, it was made from an old chicken, and the wine was there not so much for flavor, but the soften the old bird up. It took a long time to cook, but the flavors were wonderful, so it became very popular. Of course, Julia Child made it famous. Her version was much simpler because people could buy a young chicken at the market, and did not have to wait until old Bessie was ready to kick the bucket.
I haven’t made this dish in years, not because it is difficult to make, but because I never seem to have all the ingredients together. It is actually pretty simple to make, just takes a little time because the flavors need to marry.
I had originally intended to make Boeuf Bourguignon, but we had Shepard’s Pie last night for dinner, so I was thinking I didn’t want to have beef again so soon. So, I actually went on Facebook and asked whether I should make Boeuf Bourguignon or Coq Au Vin. The consensus was chicken, so I started getting the ingredients together. The only thing I did not have was pearl onions, and not because I hadn’t tried to get them at the market, they just didn’t have any, so I used a regular onion and cut it into big pieces instead.
With just the two of us, a regular chicken is just too big, so I started buying Cornish Hens. They come two to the pack, at 1 1/2 pounds each. One half bird is enough to feed one person. Cornish hens taste just like regular chickens, and are not baby chickens. For more information, please see the Wikipedia article on Cornish Game Hen.
I love barbecued chicken, but barbecues have been outlawed in our city, so I am stuck with less conventional ways of barbecuing. Last year, I bought a cast iron grill/griddle just for the purpose of barbecuing steaks and making pancakes. It also does a fine job with chicken, and I use the top of my wok to cover foods so they can completely cook. Of course, I have to have my windows wide open, and I shut off the bedroom where the fire alarms are to prevent them from going off. My grill/griddle is easy to clean, just put it in water while it is still warm, but not hot.
I used Hoisin sauce, because my son had expressed a desire for Chinese food the day before, but you could use whatever barbecue sauce is your favorite. I served it with Same Day Fried Rice and we had ourselves an Asian feast!
Chinese Stove Top Barbecued Cornish Hen YouTube Video
I love fall, when the leaves turn color and the temperatures are a little cooler. Recently, in Los Angeles, we just got through a heat wave, so I was very happy this morning when I saw thick clouds in the sky, knowing it might be a little cooler today. This evening, we even had thunder and lightning!
When I asked my son what he wanted to dinner, pork or chicken, he said chicken. Whilst looking in my pantry, I came across a box of gnocchi. I had received the gnocchi as a gift from a friend, and I knew it was high time I used it. Gnocchi is an Italian dumpling made of fluffy potatoes and flour. Marsala is a Sicilian wine, produced in the region near the city of Marsala. It is fortified for export.
A few days ago, someone gave me a large container of heavy cream. As much as I like desserts, I really wanted to make a cream sauce with wine for chicken. It’s one of my favorite dishes.
This recipe was even more fun to do because Spane helped me make a video, and The Good Plate now has its own channel on Youtube. Maybe I can get a lot of subscribers and make some money, that would be nice, wouldn’t it? Well, if you like the video, please subscribe to the channel and watch for more cooking videos in the future.