Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chicken-Hunter's Stew for Orzo

It took me a long time to find a name for this recipe.  I can trace its ancenstry back to this recipe, but about the only remaining bit is the orzo and the neglect.  I honestly can't remember exactly how it evolved.

I'm afraid that this recipe cannot be rushed, I tried once and the result was not fantastic.  I have yet to see if throwing this recipe into a crock pot is a good substitute for turning the frying pan to low and ignoring it for two hours.

This is also the ultimate in flexible ingredients.  You can use any spice that you want, or adjust the vegetables to suit seasonal availability.  It can be made with just the thighs, or a whole chicken cut into chunks.  I've also made this with different types of pasta, though some pastas like egg noodles should be cooked seperately.

September version of Chicken-Hunter's Stew:

One whole chicken leg per person
One medium onion per two chicken legs
One green pepper per three chicken legs
One carrot per chicken leg
One tomato per two chicken legs
One tablespoon dried chicken seasoning per three legs. (Marjoram)
One half cup orzo per person

Begin by cutting up the vegetables.  The onion and pepper should be in large chunks, the carrot peeled and pennied.

Grab the chicken leg firmly and flex the knee joint at an unnatural angle until broken.  Pre-heat a frying pan on high until hot.  Lay the chicken legs skin-side down and sear the surface.  Then sear the opposite side.  Since I cut the legs off of a whole roasting chicken, I included the meatier two-thirds of its wings.

Once the outside has seared, remove the chicken from the pan and add the onions and carrots.  Stir-fry the vegetables until they start to sweat, then add the green pepper.

Once the vegetables begin to soften, push them aside and lay the chicken, skin side up, against the bottom of the pan.  Arrange the vegetables on top.  Wait a moment until the chicken has started to warm again, then cover the pan and set the burner to low.

Once the chicken-juices start to accumulate in the pan, add the tomato.  I simply cut the stem out of a fresh one, then ripped it into chunks before adding it to the pan.  Re-cover the pan and ignore it for two hours.  For safety's sake, have a working smoke detector and someone who can shut off the stove if the alarm goes off.

See how the meat at the bottom of the drumstick is pulling away from the bone?  That means that the chicken is done.  Remove the chicken from the pan again, making sure to use a clean plate.  Add the orzo and an equivalent amount of liquid.  Stir the dish to incorporate the orzo in one layer, then set the chicken on top to keep warm.  Return the lid, even if it is not creating a seal anymore.  The dish is ready when the orzo is soft, about ten minutes.  Keep an eye on it to make sure there is still some liquid left.

1 comment:

  1. This looks delicious. I'm always looking for new ways to enjoy chicken. Thanks for the recipe!