A.K.A Marrow's fav supper. Pronounced "per-low" by Marrow and his family, who grew up in the Low Country, Pilau can be prepared many ways (I know, I know... the "R" is a South Carolina thing). Basically, it's a glorified dish of chicken and rice with lots of salt and pepper cooked right in it's own chicken stock-- no skimming the fat here. So easy to make, but you need to tend to it every now and then. Definitely something you'll want to consider preparing on the weekend. Once it's made though, I'm out of dinner duty for 3 days straight! Ahhh... more time for flowers and such.
A FEW TIPS:
For the chickadee, I like the ones they sell at Target because they don't have that goodie bag to fish out from the cavity and they retail consistently for the bargain basement price of $3.50 each (with a savings that just scored some cash for the handbag and shoe cause). Squeamish about manhandling a raw bird? Pick up some powder-free, disposable rubber
gloves-- definitely helps with the ick factor.
For the stock, (When you boil that chick, one of the byproducts produced will be stock, so save it.) I have some leftover carrots and celery that I'll use to season the chicken stock as the bird cooks and I'll be sure to add an onion for even more flavor. (If you don't have these items on hand, it's not a deal breaker, just proceed without them.)
For the rice, let's stick with long grain. I don't want this to get too complicated.
Low Country Pilau
Makes 6 Servings
Prep: 15 min, Cook: about 1 hr, 45 min.
Refrigerate any additional chicken stock overnight and skim the fat from the surface. Freeze and save for another dish.
1 whole chicken, (Remove goodie bag from cavity first... no really... #1 intern mistake.)
3 or 4 celery stalks with leaves, cut in half (Use innermost portion- what else u gonna do w/ 'em?)
1 or 2 carrots, cut into quarters (I don't even peel them.)
1 medium onion, cut into 6 pieces
Salt and pepper
1/2 stick butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups long grain rice
4 cups chicken stock
Marrow's Secret Sauce (not traditional stuff, but it's how he likes it)
Rinse the chicken under cool running water and place in a Dutch oven with celery, carrots, first onion, and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper- (about 1 Tbsp. salt and 1 tsp. ground black pepper-- sounds like a lot, I know-- but we've got a lot in that pot). Fill with enough water to cover bird. Bring mixture to a boil, cover loosely with lid (you want some of the steam to escape so just cock the lid to the side), and reduce heat to low or a slow simmer (it will bubble occasionally). Cook about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the meat begins to fall off of the bone.
Carefully remove chicken from stock-- tongs work well (I place it on a foil-lined jelly-roll pan). Place a strainer or colander over a large pot and carefully pour stock through to catch all of the solids. Discard solids. (I place it in the sink so that I don't have to lift the stock pot very high.)
Now, we're not going to remove the fat from the stock. I hope you're okay with that... it's how the Low Country peeps like it.
In the same Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and sprinkle enough salt and pepper over the onions so that you can see it; cook 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in the rice, then the stock, and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 20 minutes.
While the rice cooks, pull chicken meat from the bone (may still be a little warm). Stir into the cooked rice and serve, if desired, with Marrow's Secret Sauce and a healthy dose of good-for-you vegetables (as opposed to the starchy ones) and a green salad.
Marrow's Secret Sauce: French salad dressing. That's how they ate it at his house growing up, but I prefer it without. To be quite honest, I favor it in other ways. Look for those ideas coming soon...
Leftovers can be frozen. Simply thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the microwave until hot... not just warm, HOT.
How does a day or two off KP Duty (Kitchen Patrol) sound to you?