Douglas came over for dinner and various bits of cult TV on Friday evening, so I thought I’d give this little recipe a go. (Technically these recipes, as the pilaf rice is also from the same book.) Again, as with Thursday’s dinner it’s from the Rick Stein cookbook Long Weekends. It’s very easy to do and, considerably more flavoursome than I was expecting, given the minimal amount of spices that the recipe calls for. The pilaf rice accompaniment is really nice too. So much so that I also cooked it on Saturday night with a different recipe.
8 skinless chicken thighs (being greedy I used 6 for the two of us – 3 each!)
1 litre of water
A pinch of saffron
4 tablespoons of olive oil
3 red onions, finely sliced
1½ tablespoons of sweet paprika
20 pitted prunes
1 teaspoon of salt
6 turns of black pepper
For the pilaf rice:
60g of onion, finely chopped
30g of butter
350g of long-grain rice
600ml of chicken stock
1 teaspoon of salt
20g of pine nuts, toasted (optional)
20g of fat currants, or sultanas (optional)
Put the chicken thighs in a large saucepan with the water and the saffron. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and allow to poach for 10-15 minutes. Drain the chicken, but retain the water.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium/low heat and sweat the onion until very soft, probably about 10 minutes.
Add the paprika and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the chicken thighs, the prunes and about 700ml of the cooking water. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is heated through.
For the rice:
Heat the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat and gently fry the onion for 1-2 minutes. Then add the rice and stir well so that every grain is coated in the butter.
Add the stock and salt. Stir well to combine.
Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. About 5 minutes from the end of the cooking time, stir in the pine nuts and currant, if using.
Serve the chicken and prunes with the rice and covered with the thickened sauce. (I probably didn’t thicken the sauce quite as much as the recipe intended, but a bit more liquid worked well with the dish, especially with the rice.)
Delicious. The saffron imparts a subtle but noticeable flavour to the dish and the chicken is wonderfully tender.