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The Delicious Appreciations of Pick Yin

Not exactly predictable.
Has enough brains for codes
(but can be completely clueless on other more important matters).
Likes her Joe (and her man?) black, her chocolate dark and her food spicy.
“Quam bene vivas refert, non quam diu.” — Seneca

Total Posts   191      Last Updated   23 November 2015 12:00 PM (GMT +8)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chicken with Rice and Mushrooms

While most of cooking friends have all been knee-deep into their fancy colored Dutch ovens (I'm sorry Le Creuset, but made-in-France doesn't make your Dutch ovens French) and raving on how their heavyweights changed their lives, it took me awhile to join in the cast iron fun - so long, I only lugged one home two weeks ago. Only it's neither colored nor the (largely) overpriced brand. Ever since a friend pimped his sister's black cast iron casserole (bought from Sendai!) to me, I began to lean towards a black double Dutch oven with an unglazed exterior.

So one afternoon after a (rather unsatisfying) experience at Singapore's first Brunetti (not the same as Melbourne's, unfortunately, at least for the desserts and pastries), we ventured here and I made a beeline to the kitchen section while Vijay padded around praying I won't burst my purse with unnecessary purchases. Having previously eyed this beauty the previous few times we were there, the salesgirl told me it was on sale. There was a swift moment of consideration and next thing I know I was paying for it at the counter. Vijay wasn't even consulted - this annoyed him a little I think, until I made it up to him with this dish the next day.

If you've been with me long enough you'd by now know I'm infatuated with more than a few recipes from The Australian Gourmet Traveller. Having mentally bookmarked this seemingly unassuming one-pot French chicken, rice and mushroom number in the back of my head, I dug the July issue out somewhere from our growing mount of books against the living room wall and officiated my brand new cocotte with it. The result - juicy, tender chook with just-cooked, flavorful rice - unexpectedly became a huge hit with the other half, receiving a stellar score of 10/10 and followed by quite an impatient demand of "So when will you make this again??"

Luckily for Vijay he didn't need to wait long. As we hosted our friends from Maameemoomoo and Mrs. Ergül's Kitchen Haven along with the men in their lives, an encore of this sans pork made it to the dining table, equally good with some salted fish and a few tablespoons of goose fat. Along with Sherie's rosemary wholemeal buns and curried cauliflower and cheddar soup, a large bowl of apple salad plus Pei Lin's passion fruit cheesecake pots and these insanely dangerous little dark chocolate and peanut butter devils, dinner inevitably continued pass supper time and before we knew it it was one in the morning.

I guess, despite their up-the-roof-priced Dutch ovens and all, the French do know a thing or two about chicken, rice and mushrooms. As Vijay put it, even their 'chicken rice' can rival ours. You will not be disappointed.

Note: The menu above is explorable - click through to check out the recipes for the night's entrées and desserts from my best ladies!
Chicken with Rice and Mushrooms [Printer Friendly Version]

Adapted barely from the July 2011 Issue of The Australian Gourmet Traveller.
Serves 6
Cooking time 1 hour (plus standing) Prep time 20 minutes

Note: I've replaced some ingredients like speck and vermouth with what I have and added some porcini mushrooms. For a halal or non-pork version of this dish, replace speck/bacon with beef bacon or salted fish and the alcohol with chicken stock and a dash of vinegar.

  • 1 chicken (about 1.8 kilograms), at room temperature

  • 1 garlic head, halved horizontally, plus 4 extra cloves, finely chopped

  • 1 bunch each tarragon and thyme, plus extra tarragon leaves to serve (marjoram also works)

  • 30 grams butter, coarsely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 100 grams bacon bits

  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 200 grams/1 cup long-grain rice (I used basmati)

  • 120 milliliters Muscat

  • 500 milliliters/2 cups hot chicken stock

  • 150 grams dried porcini mushrooms (optional)

  • 150 grams small Swiss brown mushrooms, halved (larger ones are fine, just quarter them)

  • 2 fresh bay leaves

  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 200°C. Rinse and soak the rice for 20 minutes. Bring the chicken stock to a boil, meanwhile, prep the other ingredients. Remove stock from heat and add in the dried porcini mushrooms if using. Cover and let stand. Rinse chicken inside and out under cold running water, pat dry with absorbent paper and season inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff with garlic head, tarragon and thyme (reserve 3 sprigs of each), tuck wings under and tie legs together with kitchen string.

Heat butter in a casserole over medium heat, add chicken, turn occasionally until browned on all sides, for about 4-5 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside. Add oil, onion, bacon and chopped garlic to the casserole, stir occasionally until just tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add rice and stir briefly, just to coat. Add Muscat and simmer until reduced by about half, 1-2 minutes. Add chicken stock with the soaked porcini, Swiss mushrooms, bay leaves and reserved herbs. Top with chicken and bring to the simmer.
Cover with a tightly fitting lid, bake until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender, about 35-40 minutes.

Remove from oven and let stand, without removing lid, for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, for prepare the salad of your choice. I made an apple salad which is similar to this pear salad, lightly dressed with just olive oil and grainy mustard. To serve, remove chicken from casserole, tipping chicken so its juices run into the rice. Carve chicken and serve hot with rice mixture, scattered with extra tarragon, and salad.

25 Comments on Chicken with Rice and Mushrooms

part of me feels the same way about Le Creuset and yet, i still want a full set.

your dinner party sounds absolutely lovely. i hope you kept the bones for stock.

Posted by Anonymous Lan, at Feb 1, 2012, 4:10:00 PM  

I bookmarked the same recipe last week and I was planning to make this dish on the weekend. Your pictures have convinced me that it is a must do recipe.

Posted by Anonymous Ellie | Gourmand Recipes, at Feb 1, 2012, 4:11:00 PM  

wow! lovely! lovely!

Posted by Anonymous maureen, at Feb 1, 2012, 4:11:00 PM  

absolutely beautiful! love love loveeeeeeeee

Posted by Anonymous mochachocolatarita, at Feb 1, 2012, 4:11:00 PM  

what a beautiful comforting dish!

Posted by Anonymous Swee San, at Feb 1, 2012, 4:12:00 PM  

I can totally vouch for the intense umami found in this dish! Definitely a must-make in my book!

Posted by Anonymous Mrs Ergül, at Feb 1, 2012, 4:12:00 PM  

Mushroom love!! How I miss having an oven!

Posted by Anonymous pigpigscorner, at Feb 1, 2012, 4:12:00 PM  

OMG! Your photo is incredibly beautiful! Gorgeous work! Thanks for your comment on my blog. It lead me to yours.

Posted by Anonymous Mabel Tan, at Feb 1, 2012, 4:13:00 PM  

wow what a spread! no wonder the meal lasted past midnight ;p i also succumbed to buying a dutch oven recently and this looks absolutely delicious! bookmarking to try it soon!

Posted by Anonymous Janine, at Feb 1, 2012, 4:13:00 PM  

This does look very interesting, I mean after doing same the same boring white chicken recipies for decades this looks like a nice way to mix it up.

Posted by Anonymous Juan @ Blue Sauger, at Feb 1, 2012, 4:13:00 PM  

OMG... your chicken is so inviting... nice colour too. :D and the photos are superb...

Posted by Anonymous Lisa H., at Feb 1, 2012, 4:14:00 PM  

Ellie: You and I think alike. Still many of GT's recipes bookmarked to try. I wish I can cook everyday.

maureen: Thank you thank you!

Rita: Thanks dear! So what did you do with your pumpkins?

Swee San: Thanks! Since you have a spanking new kitchen, this dish shouldn't be a problem at all.

Pei Lin: Thank you. I look forward to our next dinner and some Turkish love from you guys! Can't.bloody.wait.

ann: Welcome to Singapore. I've been without one for 2 years since I moved here. No more such nonsense now!

Mabel: Thanks dear, I've been a long time fan of yours.

Janine: I suspect I'm going to be best friends with mine and make my actual oven jealous. Try this recipe, you will not regret it.

Lan: A full set?? You mean with the trays, ramekins, skillet and the works? What's dw going to say to that? Heheheheeee... Yes, two chicken carcasses now in my freezer ready to go for some stock action.

Juan: This is the first time I cook a chicken together with rice, our staple carb supply, as opposed the the usual suspect like vegetables and potatoes. A surprisingly good recipe, I'm glad I found it.

Lisa H.: Thank you dear, I learn from the best like you. :D

Posted by Blogger PickYin, at Feb 1, 2012, 4:15:00 PM  

What a great recipe!! I love this combination

Posted by Anonymous, at Feb 1, 2012, 4:16:00 PM  

Guess what? I'm gonna bookmark and cook this when I have guests over next time. You already know I'm in love with the rice already, but did I tell u how much I loved the simplicity of this one pot meal? Gorgeous and lipsmacking good, not hard to see why Vijay demanded for it again. ;)

Posted by Anonymous Sherie @ Maameemoomoo, at Feb 1, 2012, 4:16:00 PM  

anh: Thanks dear. It can be made halal with salted fish. I tested this on my dinner guests.

Sherie: You ah, if I knew you don't eat meat I would've stuck with the fish idea. You only ate so little of the chicken! Vijay loves anything with chicken+pork+rice, I'm sure of it.

Posted by Blogger PickYin, at Feb 1, 2012, 4:17:00 PM  

What a gorgeous spread! The chicken looks absolutely mouth watering! I cook almost everything in my cocottes and guess I will need to bookmark this after all the rave feedbacks! Love the photos! Looks just like a page out of GT!

Posted by Anonymous shirley@kokken69, at Feb 1, 2012, 4:18:00 PM  

Thanks Shirley! How many cocottes do you have?? The plate is vintage pewter from Etsy (where I also got the spoons and lots of other stuff).

Posted by Blogger PickYin, at Feb 1, 2012, 4:18:00 PM  

Hehe... I think I have about 5 various sizes for cooking and another 5 or 6 mini ones... Too many!

Posted by Anonymous shirley@kokken69, at Feb 1, 2012, 4:18:00 PM  

this looks and sounds amazing!!! what kind of rice did you use? I was thinking glutinous rice would work well with this and mushrooms, like a westernised version of "lor mai gai", a type of dimsum. And i guess an asian twist is using rice wine instead of muscat??

I am so excited to try this!

Posted by Anonymous baobabs, at Feb 1, 2012, 4:19:00 PM  

baobabs: I used basmati rice. Glutinous rice needs to be packed and steamed or boiled in a wrap mostly, so I don't think this is the dish to use that.

You may use Japanese pearl rice (not sure about cooking time here), then sake to make is Asian. Rice wine would make this a total claypot chicken style rice with the salted fish, add some Chinese sausage and some soy sauce and you're good to go.

Posted by Blogger PickYin, at Feb 1, 2012, 4:19:00 PM  

wow this chicken looks amazing

Posted by Anonymous rebecca, at Feb 1, 2012, 4:19:00 PM  

The pot is gorgeous! I've always wanted a fancy pot; the stainless steel ones just aren't are cameragenic. And that chicken! The skin looks so crispy; I can almost imagine how delicious it must have tasted.

Posted by Anonymous --kyleen--, at Feb 1, 2012, 4:20:00 PM  

kyleen and rebecca: Thank you both!

Posted by Blogger PickYin, at Feb 1, 2012, 4:20:00 PM  

Dear.. for the life of me I couldn't find dried porcini mushrooms But we've some dried tea flower mushrooms. Think it'll work? Other ingrdients are easy to find. I've just gotta try this one out since my girl WORSHIPS mushrooms

Posted by Anonymous Miza, at Feb 1, 2012, 4:21:00 PM  

Miza: Sorry for the late reply. Was a bit tied up with things away from the blog. Actually the porcini mushroom was my own addition. Any good flavored mushrooms can be used - a close contender would be shitake - dried or fresh. Use the water you soaked the mushroom with as a replacement of the alcohol.

Posted by Blogger PickYin, at Feb 1, 2012, 4:21:00 PM  

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