Thursday, October 21, 2010

Good Taste: Arroz con Pollo

Or, Rice with Chicken, which does this tasty dish no justice.

Adapted from February 2010 Martha Stewart Living

pinch of saffron
6 chicken thighs (we used 8)
coarse salt and fresly ground pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic (2 to 3 cloves)
1 large tomato, diced
2 dried bay leaves
5 1/2 cups chicken stock, plus more if needed
3 cups short-grain rice, preferably Valencia (
1 cup pimeinto-stuffed green olives

1. The original recipe calls for wine, but I use one cup of stock instead: combine 1 cup of chicken stock and saffron; let stand until ready to use. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large braiser or heavy-bottomed straight-sided saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, skin side down, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown, 2 minutes; transfer to a plate.

2. Reduce heat to medium, and cook onion and garlic, stirring often, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add tomato, and cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes. Stir in stock-saffron mixture, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and the bay leaves. Cook until wine is almost completely evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes. Add chicken, stock, rice, and olives; bring to a simmer.

3. Reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, stirring halfway through, until rice is tender, about 45 minutes. (If rice is not done, add more stock, 1/4 cup at a time.) Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper.

Thoughts: The most deliciously comforting meal for fall. Goes great with my favorite side, spinach and chickpeas.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I love a Good Party: Birthday Baby

October is birthday season at our house. We kicked things off with baby Nathan's first birthday party. He's one! I can hardly believe it!

Admittedly, the choco-chip face is not nearly as cute, but whatever

We kept the party very exclusive, only inviting immediate family members and grandma, who happened to be visiting, and our other grandma via skype. I found an appropriate banana cake recipe for our little monkey. It only seemed right, since he does consume 1 to 3 bananas per day.

Somehow, October has been an extremely busy month for us, but I was determined to give something handmade to our birthday boy. I managed to finish these birthday blocks, which became my bane of life after piecing together all of those tiny scraps. However, I am loving that I used up many bits of fabric that have already moved across the country twice. The instructions for the blocks can be found in Amy Butler's Little Stitches. These blocks are so satisfyingly stackable.