Cannellini beans simmered in homemade chicken stock with olive oil, cooking chorizo, garlic, onions, red peppers, smoked paprika, saffron, kale and fresh rosemary..
Perhaps most familiar to Americans as a component of gumbo, this West African plant happens to be a high-fiber, fat and cholesterol-free source of vitamin C, folate, calcium and potassium. High in antioxidants, this health food is also popular in weight loss diets.
When cooked, okra can be quite mucilaginous (gooey), which some people find off-putting. In response, this recipe results in a crispy, non-gooey dish of delicious goodness..
For the Rice
1 cup germinated brown rice, rinsed and drained
1-1/2 tablespoons pastured butter
2-1/2 cups homemade chicken or vegetable stock
1-1/2 teaspoons celery seed
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan until bubbling, then add the rice. Stir to coat each grain with fat, then cook and stir until lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the stock and celery seed and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat, add oregano and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and hold for service.
For the Tomatoes, Onions and Peppers
1-1/2 cups fresh heirloom tomatoes, cut into large chunks
3/4 cup yellow onion, cut into 1/2 to 3/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup fresh banana peppers, trimmed and sliced
olive oil for misting
sea salt and smoked black pepper
Line an oven-proof pan with foil or parchment paper.
Arrange vegetables around pan and mist with olive oil. Season with salt and smoked black pepper.
Place pan in 425 degree oven and roast until slightly blackened, about 30 minutes.
For the Okra
3/4 pound fresh okra, washed and trimmed
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (typically paprika, garlic, black pepper, red pepper, caraway, dill and cumin)
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
olive oil for misting
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, reserved
Arrange the okra on a rack set inside a cookie sheet. Lightly mist the okra with olive oil and dust liberally with Cajun seasoning.
Season with salt and pepper, then place the pan in a 425 degree oven and roast until tips and edges begin to brown, about 15 minutes.
Remove okra from roasting pan and add to the tomato mixture. Toss and turn, return pan to oven and roast another 7-8 minutes.
Spoon rice into serving bowls, then top with roasted vegetables. Drizzle with lemon and pan juices and serve immediately.
Onions, fresh garlic and ginger are quickly fried in olive oil along with fennel and mustard seeds, coriander, turmeric root powder, fresh curry leaves and Tellicherry black pepper.
Rinsed urad dal (split black lentils) and chana dal (split black chickpeas) are added to the pan and simmered for about an hour and a half in homemade vegetable stock. Chopped fresh tomatoes are added during the last 20 minutes, with chopped fresh cilantro added just before service.
The dish is topped with oil-fried fresh green beans and red chilies, with some of the hot oil drizzled over the top.
Low in cholesterol and high in protein, this easy, inexpensive dish is full of flavor and very satisfying..
For the Vegetable Stock (adapted from a recipe Gourmet magazine)
1/2 lb portabella mushrooms, caps and stems cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb shallots, left unpeeled, quartered
1 lb carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs (including stems)
5 fresh thyme sprigs
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
2 fresh bay laurel leaves
1 cup fresh tomatoes, diced
2 qt filtered water
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Toss together mushrooms, shallots, carrots, bell peppers, parsley and thyme sprigs, garlic, and oil in a large flameproof roasting pan. Roast in middle of oven, turning occasionally, until vegetables are golden, 30 to 40 minutes.
Transfer vegetables with slotted spoon to a tall narrow 6-quart stockpot. Set roasting pan across 2 burners, then add wine and deglaze pan by boiling over moderate heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, 2 minutes. Transfer to stockpot and add bay leaves, tomatoes, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes. Pour through a large fine sieve into a large bowl, pressing on and discarding solids, then season with salt and pepper. Skim off fat. Use within 1 week or freeze up to 3 months.
Originally a peasant dish (perhaps of stewing hen or rooster) from the Abruzzo region in Italy, Americans were likely first introduced to this classic in a 1969 article from the New York Times.
My riff on America’s Test Kitchen’s modern adaptation (see video below) uses locally pastured chicken thighs, prosciutto, garlic, fresh herbs, chicken stock and white wine, all served over fennel-scented brown rice with toasted shallots and flat-leaf parsley..
Pollo Canzanese (serves 2-4)
4 large skin-on, bone-in, pastured chicken breasts
2 ounces prosciutto, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2-3 cloves garlic, slivered (not minced)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons sprouted wheat or spelt flour
1-1/4 cups dry white wine
3/4 cup homemade chicken stock
2 bay leaves (fresh preferred)
2 sprigs rosemary, stripped, leaves chopped (reserve the stems)
8 leaves fresh sage
3 whole cloves
juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon cultured butter, cold
freshly-cracked black pepper
Rinse chicken and pat dry. Refrigerate, uncovered 4 hours or overnight to help ensure a crispy skin when cooked.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add prosciutto and sauté until lightly brown, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute more. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the prosciutto and garlic to a side dish.
Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, season the chicken with pepper and place in the hot oil skin-side down. Allow the chicken to cook without moving until golden brown, about 5-6 minutes. Turn the chicken over cook another 5 minutes, again without moving. Transfer the chicken to a side dish.
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of olive oil/fat, reserving the remainder for the rice.
Sprinkle the flour into the pan and whisk continuously to form a light roux, about 1 minute.
De-glaze the pan with the wine, taking care to scrape up all the brown bits (the fond) from the bottom.
Add the cooked prosciutto and garlic back into the pan along with the bay leaves, sage, cloves, rosemary stems (without leaves) and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
Add the chicken to the pan, making sure that the volume of liquid is sufficient to rise to a point just below the crisp chicken skin. Pour a little liquid off if there’s too much, or add a little stock if there isn’t enough.
Place the uncovered pan into a 325 degree oven and cook until the chicken is fork tender, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the rice..
1 cup germinated brown rice, rinsed
2-1/4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons shallots, chopped
1 tablespoon reserved oil/fat
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, cracked
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley
Toast the fennel in a heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the reserved oil/fat and shallots and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
Add the rice and stir to coat.
Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until done, about 45 minutes.
To Finish and Serve
Remove the pan with the chicken from the oven. Transfer the chicken to a platter and cover with foil.
Working quickly, put the chicken pan on the burner over medium-high heat. Pick out and discard the cloves, sage, bay and rosemary stems.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, chopped rosemary leaves, parsley and butter and whisk until smooth.
Line a platter with the rice and ladle the sauce over the rice. Place the cooked chicken on top of the rice, drizzle with a little of the sauce and serve piping hot.
Here’s that video..
While “there are as many gumbo recipes as there are cooks”, one of my favorite preparations includes freshly-shucked gulf oysters and hand-made andouille sausage from LaPlace, Louisiana along with the usual suspects of chocolate-brown roux cooked down with onions, garlic, green pepper and celery. There’s some fresh okra and tomato in there, with plenty of cayenne, fresh thyme and oregano as well.
I like to use sprouted brown rice instead of the traditional white rice, adding in the salty-sea liquor from the oysters in place of some of the water..
Happy Fat Tuesday!
Dark red kidney beans in a curry of fresh ginger, onions, garlic, tomatoes and chilies with toasted cumin and coriander, turmeric and cilantro, served over a bed of green tea-germinated brown rice..
Germinated brown rice is approximately 10-20 times higher in protein and amino acids (including GABA) than white rice. Soaking the rice in freshly-brewed green tea adds a pleasing flavor and increases the medicinal value. It also helps to prevent the rice from spoiling during its 18-24 hour germination period.
For more information about germinated brown rice, please see this excellent article at Kitchen Stewardship