Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bourbon Chicken with Jasmine Rice

Ever get a craving for a texture in your mouth?  Like a mouthful of noodles, or a chewy bite of yeasty cinnamon roll?  Sure, those flavors are wonderful, but close your eyes next time and think about the delightful texture that you are experiencing.  That is exactly what this bowl of chicken and rice does for me.  It is a simple combination of sensations that my oral cavity delights in--firm, yet chewy, grains of rice and tender chicken.

Is your mouth watering yet?  Do you have your dinner menu for the day established yet?  If you answered "Yes" and "No" respectively, now you have a plan.  Get cookin'!  :)

Bourbon Chicken
adapted from # 45809
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1-2 tbl. olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 tsp. ginger
3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup apple juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tbl. ketchup
1 tbl. cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce

Jasmine Rice
3 tbl. unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups jasmine rice, rinsed and drained
2 1/4 cups water

Heat oil in large skillet and add chicken pieces and cook through until lightly browned.  Remove chicken from pan and place on a plate; cover to keep warm.

Add remaining ingredients to the same skillet, heating over medium heat, and whisking/stirring until well-mixed and sugar is dissolved.

Return chicken to skillet and bring sauce to a hard boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

While chicken is simmering in the sauce, place dry rice in a mesh colander and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear (this removes the excess starch and keeps the rice from clumping together).  Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add drained rice and saute until the edges of the rice begin to turn translucent, about 3 minutes (toasting the rice in this manner greatly enhances the flavor by bringing out the nuttiness of the rice).  Stir in the water and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce the heat to low.  Cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed (you may need to add an additional splash of water of rice begins sticking to the bottom of the pan before it is tender enough).  Off heat and remove from burner.  Let rice stand 5-10 minutes and fluff with a fork to serve.

Serve chicken over hot jasmine rice.

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