Another recipe from the Mediterranean cooking class my dad and I took at the Culinary Institute of Virginia and let me just say, if you like a little spice and you call yourself a Texan, you are obligated to switch out the chicken with chorizo sausage like we did.  My heart sings.  (For a little less spice, make half the meat chicken and half chorizo.

Other recipes from the class:  

Braised Carrots

Potato Gnocchi

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 cup basmati rice (you can increase to 2 cups if you want the dish to have a lot of rice)

  • Chicken stock for the rice

  • 2 small or 1 large onion, chopped

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil to sauté the onions

  • 1-2 chicken breasts (or the same weight in chicken tenders), sautéed and chopped (or switch out with chorizo sausage, raw, squeezed out of the casing, and broken up)

  • 2 cups fresh (or frozen then thawed) green beans, cut diagonally in 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1/2 tsp. saffron – steeped in a very small amount of water (or 1/2 tsp. curry, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, and a pinch of cloves)

  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 can tomato paste (about 4 Tbsp.)

  • Kosher salt to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Start cooking the basmati rice.  If you’re cooking 1 cup rice, use 1.5 cup chicken stock.  If you’re cooking 2 cups rice, use 3 cups chicken stock.

  2. Sauté the onions with some oil.

  3. When the onion is softened add chicken chopped thin and brown the chicken (or add the chorizo and make sure it’s broken up, and cook for about 5 minutes)

  4. Add the green beans and sauté for 5 minutes.

  5. Add the saffron and water (or other spices), cinnamon, and tomato paste to the beans and chicken/chorizo.  Mix well.  You may adjust the amount of tomato paste to your preference (start with 3 Tbsp.).

  6. Add between 1/3 and 1/2 cup water (or chicken stock) to the green beans/meat and cook them on low heat for another 5 to 10 minutes.

  7. After the mixture has simmered, add salt and pepper to taste.

  8. When the rice is about 3/4 of the way cooked, add the chicken/green beans to the rice and mix well.  Let the rice continue to cook for the remaining time, covered.