This dish just screams come in from the cold and fill your belly. It’s loaded with flavor, along with chunks of tender chicken and perfectly creamy rice. Filled with tiny bits of carrot, celery and onion, and some parmesan cheese that’s been stirred in until melty--it’s comfort food at it’s best. “Here is a dish that rivals risotto for flavor but is much simpler to make,” Lidia says about this dish.
The randomly chosen winner of the cookbook is Jen B. Congrats, Jen, and thank you to everyone that entered!
I love Lidia Bastianich--I always have. She not only makes the most amazing Italian food, but I find her comforting. Her voice is calming to me. I want to be in her kitchen and have her talk me through making all of her recipes. Weird? Of course not! If you like more information on Lidia, check out her site, Lidia’s Italy. It’s filled with information, including recipes, a blog, Lidia’s appearance schedule, and more.
I recently received a copy of her new book, Lidia's Favorite Recipes: 100 Foolproof Italian Dishes, from Basic Sauces to Irresistible Entrees. I’m in love with this cookbook! These recipes are the ones that you’ll want to make and share with the ones you love. These aren’t over complicated dishes to make, either. There are no crazy long ingredient lists using fifteen pans to prepare and serve. They’re family style--and suitable for weeknight dinners as well as hearty Sunday dinners.
From the book’s dust jacket: “Lidia Bastianich—one of the most beloved chefs and authors in America—presents her most accessible and affordable cookbook to date, a gathering of the recipes that have become her go-to meals for her very own family. But these are not only Lidia’s personal favorites; this book is a love letter to her fans. Here, she is giving us the recipes for dishes that you have raved and written about over and over—the best, the most comforting, and the most delicious dishes in her repertoire.
From the classic sauces to the delicious desserts, these recipes have been revised and updated to be more concise and clear, but just as soul-satisfying as ever. With new information about the affordability, seasonality, and nutritional value of the ingredients, this book shows there is no question why these dishes are the easiest and most enjoyable to bring to the family table for your most memorable moments. Beautifully illustrated throughout with full-color photographs, Lidia’s Favorite Recipes will give both new cooks and longtime fans something extraordinary to celebrate.”
This chicken and rice dish is a convenient one pot meal, and it’s ready quickly enough to be a weeknight meal, but also wonderful on those cold weekend afternoons and evenings. It’s also an inexpensive meal. I’m going to give you one warning, though. It’s filling! It’ll stick to your ribs, for sure. Take a serving that’s a little less than how hungry you feel, then go back for more if you think you need it. I’ve made this about five times already, and I still haven’t gotten this though my head. It’s just so tasty that I can’t help myself. It’s also husband and kid-approved, and let’s just say that it isn’t pretty when we fight about who gets the leftovers.
Traditional Rice and Chicken
Riso alla Pitocca by Lidia Bastianich
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 cup onion cut into 1 inch chunks
1 cup carrot cut into 1 inch chunks
1 cup celery cut into 1 inch chunks
2 cloves garlic, peeled (I use 3, or 4 if they're smallish)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp kosher salt (I use 2 teaspoons. Always better to start with less and season later!)
1 fresh bay leaf (I use 2 dried bay leaves)
1 cup dry white wine
5 cups hot chicken or turkey stock (I use Better than Bouillon, which explains why I use less salt.)
2 cups Italian short grain rice, such as Arborio or Carnaroli (For great creamy risotto texture, don't substitute.)
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for passing
Trim any extra fat from the chicken and cut the thighs into 1 inch chunks, set aside. In a food processor, mince the onion, carrot, celery and garlic into a fine textured pestata. Not a puree, not large chunks, but in between--minced.
Pour the olive oil into a large saucepan with a lid, and set over medium high heat. (Seriously, a large pan. At least a 12 inch pan with a fairly high side, or a large saucepan. This dish grows as it cooks.) Stir in the pestata and and season with one teaspoon of the salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the pestata has dried.
Toss in the chicken and the bay leaf (or leaves), and sprinkle with one more teaspoon of the salt. Cook until the chicken is browning and caramelizing. Raise the heat and add the wine, stirring and deglazing the pan. Cook until the most of the wine has evaporated. While stirring, pour in the hot stock and the rice. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and reduce the heat to keep it bubbling gently (a nice low-ish simmer). Cook for 14-17 minutes (It's 14 for Lidia, and about 17 minutes for me.), or until the rice and chicken are fully cooked and the rice is a creamy consistency.
Turn off the heat and drop in the butter, stirring until it's completely incorporated, then stir in the parsley and the 1/2 cup of grated cheese. Check for seasoning now. Spoon into pasta bowls and serve immediately with additional cheese to pass around at the table.
- As you can see, I forgot the fresh parsley. D’oh!
- This is a great dish to make and take to a friend/family in need of some nourishing love. New parents, friends dealing with a crisis, sick friends--you get the idea.
Alfred A. Knopf/Random House Has generously offered to give a copy of Lidia’s Favorite Recipes to one of you! And entering is so easy…
- Just leave a comment here. That’s it!
- If you’d like additional entries, you can share this on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google+. Leave an additional comment for each share here on this post letting me know you did.
I’ll choose the random winner (US only) on Thursday, January 31st. Good luck!
Disclaimer: I was provided with a review copy of Lidia's Favorite Recipes at no cost to me. Alfred A. Knopf/Random House will be providing the prize for this cookbook giveaway and will send the prize directly to the winner. I did not accept monetary compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.