Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken

DSC_8156 (1600x1060)I’m on a chicken recipe spree!  At least until I run out of chicken breasts, anyway.  This recipe from Emeril Lagasse looked pretty good, with the added bonus of  the side dish calling for the truffle oil that rounded out a recent online order I placed a while back and was looking for a place to use.

I didn’t have the proper arborio rice so I used the  jasmine variety that I do keep on hand and has worked for me before.  Instead of Parmesan I used fresh grated pecorino.  The mushrooms were the usual supermarket white buttons, nothing fancy.  I think I can take or leave the truffle oil, it not adding any particular enjoyment for me but I’ll wait a while and try it elsewhere before I make up my mind.

The goat cheese filling worked very well, every time I made a cut a little more oozed out and was quickly mopped up.  I used a lot more garlic than the recipe wanted.

Guest Recipe: Josh D’s Mushroom Risotto

Now here is what I love.  I open my email and  there is a recipe!  Not only a recipe, but one designed to make life easier, while still being very, very tasty.  So thanks, Josh, I really appreciate you sharing this with us.  And I’m sure next time you’ll have pictures, right?

I’ve been meaning to share this for awhile, as I know a TON of folks love risotto, but it can be rather complicated to prepare. There is a method, however, of baking it in the oven where the end result will work exactly the same as the traditional method, but it’s less than half the work!

Mushroom-Herb Risotto

  • 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp pepper, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil
  • 1 ounce mascarpone or cream cheese
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup parmigano reggiano, depending upon preference
  • olive oil for finishing (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In an ovenproof casserole dish, mix together chicken stock, rice, onion, mushrooms, seasonings, and garlic. Cover with a tight fitting lid or aluminum foil. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring about every ten minutes or so. During the last stir, mix in herbs to infuse flavor into the rice. When rice is tender to the tooth (al dente) and all liquid is absorbed, remove from oven. Stir in parmigano and mascarpone cheese. Serve warm with your favorite protien. Manga! – Joshua De Mers

We always welcome favorite recipes you’d like to share.  Heck, that’s how JeffreyW ended up here, shared one little recipe and now what happened.   So email me – I finally added a permanent link.  See?  Over there, on the right.  Under Links.

Roast Chicken

Watched a cooking show last night, they were all about getting the skin crisp and what to do to get it.  I was half listening but got most of it.  Separate the skin from the meat, poke some holes to let the juices out, rub some salt into the skin,  blah blah.  Did all that.  Hah, it worked pretty well.  Gave it thirty minutes at 400 with the back up, then about forty five minutes with the breast up.  Made some risotto to go with it, steamed some veggies to toss with the rice.  I’ll caption the pics.

Enjoy!

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Mmm…fish with veggies and rice

This was the easiest part of an overall easy dinner.  Bake the fish in a 350 oven on a foil wrapped baking sheet after brushing melted dill butter on both sides.  Flip ’em over part way through, took less than ten minutes.

The risotto took the longest, you’ll want to start it first.  Butter and olive oil in a pan, add the rice and stir until it wants to brown, then pour in some white wine.  Cook and stir as it absorbs, then add chicken stock a bit at a time, stir, add more stock, add the mushrooms (these came out of a can).  Pretty soon you can cover and let the rice soak up the remaining stock, turn the heat way down or off.

The veggies were a tad more involved.  Start with olive oil in a large pan, the zest of a lemon, some diced onions and minced garlic and heat them until the aroma comes out, add the veggies and stir about, maybe add some more oil.  When they get good and hot add a half cup of chicken stock and cover, turn the heat down to medium.  In about five minutes or when they are done enough for you, remove the veggies to a serving dish and add some butter to the hot pan, stir in the juice of a lemon and some chopped fresh parsley.  When it is cooked down a bit pour the lemon butter over the veggies in the dish.

Enjoy!

Rhapsodic about Rice

I’m not going to convince many of you, I’m sure,  about the savoriness of brown rice, but I thought I’d give it a try.  I first became enamored of its nutty goodness while researching varieties of rice for my column, Ask TaMara.  Now I use it almost exclusively. 

The flavor is nutty and a bit sweet.  It’s a great compliment with any fish, beef, poultry or pork.  The only addition it needs is a touch of butter and salt.  I also mix it with scrambled eggs for a healthy and satisfying breakfast. 

Besides being full of flavor, brown rice is packed with nutrients.  Per cup it has 5 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and niacin, as well as other vitamins and minerals.  It’s a great side that adds flavor to many dishes.

You’ll still want to use a variety of white rice for several types of dishes, though.   White rices absorb flavors and are necessary for many Asian dishes, as well as Risotto, where you want the rice to take on the flavor of the sauces.  Brown rice’s rich flavor would overpower the balance of flavors in these dishes.

Brown rice cooks like regular rice in a 2:1 ratio of water to rice.  But it takes longer to cook.  About 45 minutes at a low simmer.  I use my pressure cooker and it reduces the cooking time to 20 minutes.  Brown rice, like white varieties, can be cooked in a large batch and stored for a week in the refrigerator.  I reheat mine in a touch of water and butter in a saucepan.  Microwaving rice can make it a bit mushy.  Never freeze leftover rice, it destroys the texture and makes it rubbery.

So go ahead, try some brown rice as a side for your next grilled chicken or steak dinner.