chicken stuffed with pistachios and rice, served with a shiitake mushroom reduction

you have your favorite recipes and cookbooks, and so do i. 
the ones we use to make the dishes that taste so good, and make the people we are feeding so happy. 
the ones that prompt a request for seconds. 
the ones that don't leave any leftovers.
          it's also rewarding to concoct an mmm-dish by imagining the combination of tastes and textures in ingredients already on hand. that's the way this one came about: i elaborated on mundane chicken and rice by adding whimsical green, ground pistachios and lush, umami shiitake mushrooms. it's relatively easy and quick if you have leftover rice. just allow time to marinate the chicken and reconstitute dried shiitakes. jim liked this recipe so much, he asked for more, and then he asked me to add it to our favorites list.
ingredients (serves 6)
• 4 large boneless chicken breast halves
• 16-20 dried shiitake mushrooms
• 1 cup and 1/2 cups of vegetable stock
• 1 cup of white wine
• 3-4 large cloves of garlic, minced
• 5-6 tbls. olive oil
• 3-4 cups of cooked brown rice (i used brown basmati)
• 1 cup of ground pistachios
• kosher salt and cracked pepper
1. mix the wine, garlic and olive oil in a med. glass bowl. add the chicken breasts and coat them well. cover the bowl and marinate the chicken for an hour or so in the refrigerator.
2. reconstitute the mushrooms in 1 and 1/2 cups of veg. stock for 1/2 hour.

3 grind the pistachios in the food processor or finely chop them with a knife. toss the pistachios with the cooked rice and taste for seasoning with salt and pepper.
4. preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
5. remove the chicken breasts to the cutting board.
set the marinade aside. make a lengthwise cut down the thickest side of each chicken breast, keep the opposite side attached. fill them with the pistachio/rice mixture. secure the open sides with toothpicks, and cut off the part sticking up. sprinkle them w/salt & cracked pepper.
6. heat a little olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet to shimmering. brown the chicken for a few min. on each side & then pour the leftover marinade into the skillet (add some broth or water so there is about 1/2 inch of  liquid in the pan. put the pan into the oven. reduce the heat to 425 degrees (make sure the liquid is always bubbling a little) and cook about 10-15 min until it is no longer pink.
7. set the chicken on a plate to rest. put the skillet back onto the stove and set the burner to med. high. pour all of the veg. broth with the shiitakes into the pan. use a whisk to stir and simmer to reduce down a little, about 5 to 10 min. remove the shiitakes to the cutting board using tongs. strain the reduction through a sieve.
8. remove the toothpicks and cut the chicken across the grain. slice some of the mushrooms and leave some whole. plate the chicken with the prettiest cuts upward. top with the mushrooms and a spoonful of the reduction.

No comments: