Friday, April 2, 2010

Bulgur Pilaf with Moraccan Roast Chicken, pg. 152

The moroccan spice rub in this recipe (Fresh Ginger, Cinnamon, Allspice, Cloves, Cardamom and Cayenne) is awesome!  It smells amazing and totally evokes a flavor that must be what Moracco tastes like!?!  The chicken is coated in this sauce and roasted with lemons and prunes, then served with a tasty pilaf made with Bulgur...very creative combination!
Did you know that Pilaf is a method of cooking, not a specific recipe or only rice based (although usually).  We studied pilaf in my 1st quarter of Culinary School.  Every day of the school period, we made pilaf...yes, for 10 straight weeks! and every new quarter that starts, there is a new 1st quarter class that will also learn the pilaf method, so we are always tasting and trying new pilaf.  Never once has someone made it without rice.  So, I found this intriguing.
Ok, on to what I wanted to explain, the Pilaf method.  Starting with some kind of fat (oil or butter), add your aromatics (onions, other veggies, etc.) and sweat them in the sweating them, you're emitting the flavor of the onion into the fat your cooking with.  Then, stir in your grain (rice, bulgur, creative!) and make sure to coat every grain with the fat and "toasting" the grain a little.  Then add a flavorful liquid (stock, or water with herbs and spices) and bring to a can add it hot, so it comes up to temp quicker.  Add a little bit of salt, but not too much.  As the grain absorbs your liquid, if it's too salty, you'll concentrate that flavor. Then cover and let it simmer, not boil, for however long it takes to cook your grain.  White rice & bulgur are about 20-25 minutes, brown rice is closer to 50.  You can also finish it in the oven at 325 if you have an oven safe pot.  Check it when you think it should be done to make sure the grain is cooked all the way through, and season to taste.  Add fresh herbs, toasted nut, etc.  Amazing dish every time.
Go and be creative with your cooking!  Here's a photo of the above mentioned recipe!...err never mind for now... issues with upload.  -Vicki

15 recipes down!  Moraccan Roast Chicken will be a family favorite, even Mr. Ben agrees.  As for the pilaf, I needed to figure out a plan for the leftovers.  The following day, I put a slab of round roast in crockpot and shredded the beef.  I added mango peach salsa to the bulgar pilaf and warmed it up.  The salsa bulgar, steak, fresh mozzarella balls (small), and salad were layered on warm wheat tortilla shells.  Whooolaaaa another grain girl meal! -amy

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