Thursday, September 07, 2006
Steamed Chicken & Rice With Cilantro Pesto
Yup. Chicken was on sale this week at the grocery store. So here's another chicken dish featuring one of my favorite herbs... cilantro. Cilantro is one of those flavors you absolutely love or you absolutely hate. If you don't like cilantro, then do NOT attempt this recipe. The raw ginger and garlic give the pesto its bite. And the soy sauce takes the place of salt in the pesto. This isn't your typical pesto, but its flavors go really well with the steamed chicken.
Yes, that's steamed chicken. Steaming chicken is one of my favorite ways to cook chicken because it turns out so moist. It's the method used for making Khao Mahn Gai - a typical dish often served on Thai railroad cars. To steam the chicken, you will need a large stock pot with a pasta insert. It's important to use really fresh chicken because aside from the pesto, there's not a lot that you spice the chicken with.
STEAMED CHICKEN & RICE WITH CILANTRO PESTO
For the Cilantro Pesto
1 bunch cilantro , washed and patted dry
3 cloves garlic
1 inch of ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons oil
For the Steamed Chicken & Rice
3 lbs of chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on (about 10 pieces)
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups of rice, uncooked
1) In a food processor, pulse the cilantro, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and black pepper. Gradually add in the oil until to form a thick emulsion.
2) Fill a large pot with about 2 inches of water. Place the pasta insert inside. Cover and bring to a boil.
3) When the water is rapidly boiling, reduce to medium high heat. Place the chicken pieces skin side down in the pasta insert. It's ok for the pieces to be stacked on top of each other.
4) Cover and let steam for 45 minutes or until chicken is done. Sprinkle salt over the chicken pieces.
5) Meanwhile, cook 3 cups of rice according to directions on package.
6) When rice is cooked, fluff the rice. Take 3/4 cup of the broth (including chicken fat that has drained down) from the stockpot and pour over the cooked rice. Fluff the rice again.
7) To serve, place 1/2 cup of rice on a plate with 2 chicken thighs. Spoon 1 tablespoon of cilantro pesto on top of each chicken thigh.
Makes about 5 servings.
Ed's 1st Note: I like to use jasmine rice because it is so fragrant. Do not use instant rice, converted rice, or Rice-a-Roni (even if it is the San Francisco treat). They are not starchy enough for this dish.
Ed's 2nd Note: You can also serve this with sliced raw cucumbers as edible garnish.