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10 March, 2008

Marinated Spicy Baked Chicken with Chard and Sweet Rice

Yes, I have other things on my mind, but I scored a critical success on my food roll tonight, so I'm going to write about that instead. This is a low-preparation-effort but high-planning dish.

The night before: marinate the chicken in buttermilk. How much buttermilk? Enough to cover it, I don't know. This is why it's high planning; one has to think to marinate the stuff in advance.

Preparation for chicky:

Line the bottom of a baking dish with chard. I think I had five or so leaves of it, and I stripped out the stems and lined the dish with the leafy bits. (Stems are saved for making stock with next time we have roast chicky.) Chop a yellow onion (I actually used a sweet onion) and three or four garlic cloves and layer them over the chard. Add a half cup or so of olive oil. Pour the chicken (and the buttermilk) on top of that, spread it all out. Coat the top surface of the whole shebang with a teaspoon of cayenne, and a tablespoon each of cumin, coriander, and whole mustard seed. If you can see the meat, there isn't enough spice on it.

Put in the oven and bake until done. I'd lost my original recipe for this so I played it entirely by ear, and I eventually wound up cranking the heat a good bit in aggravation, which did it no harm.

I know from past experience that this recipe will rehabilitate freezerburnt chicken; I blame the buttermilk.

When done, I pulled out the chicken onto a plate so people could cut off what they wanted of it, the chard into a bowl, and left the onions floating in the jus (to be fished out with a slotted spoon).

Sweet rice:

Standard-issue rice preparation in a pot (twice as much water or a little more if brown rice, low heat, lid); added some honey, some shredded ginger, and a pinch or two of saffron.

The meat is nicely spicy, and the coating is such that spice wusses like my husband can scrape most of it off and still enjoy the meal. I like the sweet rice as a balance for the pepperyness (honestly, I like the sweet rice in general; I nicked that out of one of Steven Brust's Dragaera novels).


Anonymous said...

What kind of chicken did/do you use? A whole chicken? A whole chicken cut up? Boneless skinless breasts or thighs?

Dw3t-Hthr said...

This time I did it with cutlet meat; I've used whole breasts in the past. (I believe the original recipe I'm modifying is for breasts.) I chose cutlets for this because they looked likely to lie flatter, and I wanted as much in contact with the bed of veggies as possible.

I would anticipate that it would work reasonably well with any boneless cut of chicken that can lie reasonably flat on a bed of veggies.