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Spring brings many joys — among them, new colors to entice the eye and new flavors that delight the palate. Gone are the heavier comfort foods we sought during winter. Instead, we are called to lighter, brighter, and zestier meals. Chicken thighs, richer and more moist in flavor than chicken breasts, rest atop a dill, garlic, and lemon-infused rice with the added sweetness of sugar snap peas. Accompany with spring greens dressed in a honey dijon and herbed vinaigrette and you’ve got the perfect seasonal dinner dish.
Chicken & Rice Ingredients:
2 lbs chicken thighs w/bone and skin
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
2 cups water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups sugar snap peas, halved crosswise
1/4 cup roasted, salted pistachios, chopped
2 heaping teaspoons dill, stems removed, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
Chicken & Rice Instructions:
Prior to cooking, place rice in bowl and cover with room temperature water. Soak for 30 minutes, then strain in mesh strainer and place aside.
Pat chicken thighs with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Season with kosher salt and pepper.
Place thighs skin down in Dutch oven and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.
Move chicken thighs around in the pot, keeping them skin down, to ensure even cooking. Cook another 10 minutes until skin is dark golden brown and crispy. Transfer to plate, skin-side up.
Add onions to pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and stir constantly until onions are translucent and soft, approximately 7 minutes.
Add garlic to pot and stir constantly for an additional two minutes.
Stir in rice with onions and garlic for an additional two minutes.
Add water, butter, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt to pot; stir to scrape up any bits at bottom of pot.
Bring water to boil. Once boiling, place chicken thighs skin-side up into pot, along with any juices from plate.
Cover the pot, reduce heat to low, cook for 16 minutes, then turn off heat and let rice finish steaming for an additional ten minutes. Do not lift lid.
When finished place chicken on a plate.
Fluff rice with a fork and add snap peas, pistachios, dill, and lemon juice.
Fluff with a fork again until all ingredients are incorporated.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer to serving dish, place chicken on top and serve immediately.
Note: for a tangy cream sauce to serve with the dish – combine the zest and juice of one lemon, two grated garlic cloves, a pinch of kosher salt, and one cup of whole-milk yogurt.
Spring Greens Ingredients:
1 head Bibb Lettuce
1 head Boston Red Lettuce
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon wildflower honey
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper