Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ginger Chicken And Rice Pie

How we get and tweak recipes reminds me of the "telephone" game. This ginger chicken and rice pie recipe is one of my favorites. One of my sisters gave it to me. She got it from a friend. Her friend had gotten it from another friend. And that friend got it from her mom. It was several decades ago when i got the recipe---i was in my teens---and it has gone through many variations. Truth be told i don't recall what the original recipe was called but my version has ginger and a marinade and when i received it, it had neither.

You will need a deep dish pie plate for this recipe. i prefer Pyrex. Even though the combined prep and cooking time is approx 2 hours, this recipe is a favorite of mine for several reasons. It is a hearty enough dish that it will yield one to two days worth of left-overs and it's even better the second or third day because the flavors have more time to meld.

The ingredients save for one are economical. The expensive ingredient is dried Spanish saffron but it really is worth it for the flavor, aroma and color it gives the dish. If dried Spanish saffron threads are not available powdered saffron may be substituted but frankly the powdered version is not my preference as it does not blend as well and if you've tasted the dried threads there is a distinct difference in flavor. i liken it to brewed coffee vs instant. Sure they're both coffee but most coffee drinkers tend to prefer brewed over instant.
saffron_usdaFor this dish you will need to prepare a marinade. The marinade consists of the following: 2 Tablespoons of mustard 1 Tablespoon of worcestershire sauce [Lea & Perrins low sodium is preferred]. A teaspoon of honey. A navel orange. If a fresh orange is unavailable 1/4 cup of orange juice may be used. A blood orange would be even better if available---again for the color, aroma and flavor.

Now to the other ingredients. 2lbs of boneless skinless chicken thighs [Murray's chicken preferred]. Rinse and dice the chicken. Pat dry with a paper towel. Season with poultry seasoning, powdered ginger, jerk seasoning, ground red pepper, ground black pepper, dried parsley.

Next pour the marinade over the seasoned chicken. Place the marinaded chicken in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.

sookie's seasoned marinaded gingerchickenWhile waiting for the marinade to set prepare the rice. i like Texmati's blend of red, brown, wild, and white rice [follow the cooking instructions on the label]. Add the dried saffron to the rice at the start of it's cooking time. The commercial size portions of saffron are approx 0.05 ounces. Dice 4 white mushrooms, 1/4 vidalia onion, 1/4 red onion. The onions and mushrooms should be added to the rice after it is done because they will get wilted otherwise. Also add 1/4 cup of small frozen peas to the rice when you add the onions and mushrooms. Again this is to prevent the peas from having a mushy texture.

For the pie's crust i confess i cheat and do not make a scratch crust. But i gotta tell ya---that Pillsbury roll out pie crust is not only a time saver, it really is a good crust. i use a double layer on the bottom and a double top layer. Before rolling it out, the crust should be cool but not cold to make it easier to handle. i've tried using it at room temperature but those results were not always good. Of course if you prefer a scratch crust by all means have at it.

sookie's gingerchickenpieFill the bottom layer of pie crust with 1/2 of the rice mixture. Lightly beat 3 large eggs and pour half over the rice. The egg helps the rice hold it's structure in the pie shell. While waiting for the egg to settle into the pie bottom saute the chicken, 10 minutes on each side.

When saute is completed place chicken on top of the rice. Put the other half of the rice mixture on top of the chicken. Pour the remaining egg over the rice. Place double top crust over pie's filling. Flute the crust's edges and prick the center of the pie with a fork. Bake pie for 90 minutes at 400 degrees.

sookie's gingerchickenpie2

Image Credit: Saffron

Image Credit: sookie's Seasoned Marinaded Ginger Chicken

Image Credit: sookie's Ginger Chicken Pie

Image Credit: sookie's Ginger Chicken Pie Sliced

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