Chicken Casserole with Dried Fruits and Caramelized Onions
|Chicken thighs||8 , skinned|
|Safflower oil||1 Tablespoon|
|Unsalted butter||3 1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Freshly ground black pepper||To Taste|
|Brown rice||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Onion||1 Small, chopped|
|Unsalted chicken stock||2 1⁄2 Cup (40 tbs)|
|Bouquet garni||1 (Made By Tying Together 2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme, Several Parsley Stems And 7 Bay Leaves. If Fresh Thyme Is Unavailable, Tie Up 1/2 Teaspoon Of Dried Thyme Leaves In A Piece Of Cheesecloth With The Other Herbs)|
|Dried apricots||1⁄3 Cup (5.33 tbs), cut into half|
|Golden raisins||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Dried currants||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Grainy mustard||1 Tablespoon|
|Grated orange zest||1⁄4 Teaspoon|
|Pearl onions/1 cup frozen pearl onions without sauce||1 Cup (16 tbs), blanched for 30 seconds and peeled|
|Water||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs) (use enough to cover onions)|
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F
2. In a large casserole, combine oil with 1 tablespoon of butter and heat on a high flame on the stove.
3. When the butter melts, place the chicken thighs and lightly brown them for 4 minutes of each side.
4. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
5. Transfer the thighs to a platter and keep aside for later.
6. Reduce the flame to medium.
7. In the same casserole, add the rice and chopped onion to the fat in the casserole and sauté for 5 minutes till the grains of rice get translucent.
8. Pour in 1 1/2 cups of the stock, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and the bouquet garni and bring the stock to a boil.
9. Reduce the heat, cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
10. Further stir in the dried fruit, mustard and orange zest, into the rice.
11. Add the chicken pieces to the casserole, pushing them down and covering with the rice.
12. Pour the remaining cup of stock over the rice.
13. Cover the casserole and transfer it to the preheated oven. Braise the rice for 35 minutes.
14. As the casserole is baking in the oven, in a small skillet melt ½ teaspoon butter over a medium flame.
15. Add the pearl onions with the sugar and caramelize.
16. Pour water, to cover the onions.
17. Boil the water till it evaporates and the onions are cooked and evenly browned. Shake the pan often so that the onions do not stick to the pan or over caramelize.
18. Transfer the caramelized onions to the casserole, stir in, cover the casserole and bake for another 15 minutes until the rice is tender.
19. Remove the casserole from the oven and discard the bouquet garni from the rice.
20. Serve the chicken from the casserole along with the rice dry fruit and caramalized onions.