This month's challenge was picked by Olga of Las Cosas de Olga and Olga’s Recipes . Olga is from Spain, and so she chose a delicious Spanish recipe, Rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes by José Andrés, one of the most important Spanish Chefs at the moment. This recipe is from his US TV show Made in Spain.
Traditionally this dish is made with cuttlefish, but here I have replaced it with chicken.This dish was fabulous! It was fun, and pretty easy to make, and it made my house smell amazing! The most complicated part of this dish was the time factor, because it did take about 2.5 hours to make in total. So its definitely not a week-night meal. But it is worthy of a nice dinner, someday special.
There were three main parts to this challenge. The first part was making a sofregit, which is a very fragrant sauce made of olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, and often times mushrooms, onions, and peppers. While it was simmering away on my stovetop all afternoon long, it definitely reminded me of homemade spaghetti sauce (I think it would be good for that, too!)
The second part of the recipe was to make an allioli. When I first read this I thought it was an aoli. Then I thought that maybe allioli and aioli were different. But nope, they aren't, it just depends where you are from as to how you say it. Just like to-may-to and toe-maht-o, I guess. :)
The third and final part is to make the finished product. It is supposed to be made in a paella pan, but I don't have one. I started with a nice sized large sautee pan, but then halfway through adding ingredients I realized I definitely needed more pot. So I had to switch to a large stock pot. And almost dropped the pan on the floor and lost it all. Luckily, though, my wrists did not give out, and I saved the day!
Rice with Mushrooms, Chicken and Artichokes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Keywords: entree chicken Spanish
Ingredients (6 servings)
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 5 big red ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 2 small onions, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 4 or 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 cup of button or Portobello mushrooms, chopped
- 1 Bay leaf
- Touch of ground cumin
- Touch of dried oregano
- 4 Artichokes (you can use jarred or freezed if fresh are not available)
- 12 Mushrooms (button or Portobello)
- 1 - 2 Bay leaves
- 125 ml of white wine
- 2 chicken breasts
- 2 cups Short grain rice (Spanish types Calasparra or Montsant are preferred, but you can choose any other short grain. This kind of rice absorbs flavor very well) – about ½ cup per person.
- Water, Fish, or Chicken Stock, depending on the meat you are using (use 1 ½ cup of liquid per ½ cup of rice)
- 1 small egg
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil (as above, Spanish oil is highly recommended)
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1 Tbs. Spanish Sherry vinegar or lemon juice (if Sherry vinegar is not available, use can use cider or white vinegar)
- Salt to taste
- Saffron threads (if you can’t find it or afford to buy it, you can substitute turmeric)
Put all the ingredients together in a frying pan and sauté slowly until all vegetables are soft. Salt if necessary. Easy !!!Rice with Mushrooms, Chicken and Artichokes
Cut the cuttlefish/chicken in little strips.
Add 1 or 2 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and put the cuttlefish in the pan.
If you use fresh artichokes, clean them and cut in eights.
Clean the mushrooms and cut them in fourths.
Add a bay leaf to the cuttlefish/chicken and add also the artichokes and the mushrooms.
Sauté until we get a golden color in the artichokes.
Put a touch of white wine so all the solids in the bottom of the get mixed, getting a more flavorful dish.
Add a couple or three heaping serving spoonfulls of sofregit and mix to make sure everything gets impregnated with the sofregit. (I used about a cup, and then everyone added more to their individual plates).
Add all the liquid and bring it to boil.
Add all the rice. Let boil for about 5 minutes in heavy heat. This is not like a risotto where you have to stir it constantly. Stir once or twice the whole rest of the time this cooks.
Add some saffron thread to enrich the dish with its flavor and color. Stir a little bit so the rice and the other ingredients get the entire flavor. If you’re using turmeric or yellow coloring, use only 1/4 teaspoon.
Turn to low heat and boil for another 8 minutes (or until rice is a little softer than “al dente”)
Put the pan away from heat and let the rice stand a couple of minutes.
Drizzle individual servings with a small amount of allioli.Allioli
Break the egg into a mixing bowl.
Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the garlic cloves, along with the vinegar or lemon juice.
Using a hand blender, start mixing at high speed until the garlic is fully pureed into a loose paste.
Little by little, add what's left of the olive oil as you continue blending.
If the mixture appears too thick as you begin pouring the oil, add 1 teaspoon of water to loosen the sauce.
Continue adding the oil and blending until you have a rich, creamy allioli.
The sauce will be a lovely yellow color.
Add salt to taste.
If you do not have access to a hand blender, you can use a hand mixer (the kind with the two beaters) or a food processor. If you use a food processor, you must double the recipe or the amount will be too little for the blades to catch and emulsify.
What happens if the oil and egg separate? Don't throw it out. You can do two things. One is to whisk it and use it as a side sauce for a fish or vegetable. But if you want to rescue the allioli, take 1 tablespoon of lukewarm water in another beaker and start adding to the mix little by little. Blend it again until you create the creamy sauce you wanted.
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