It’s the season for poultry again and chicken is by far the most popular species. Today’s chickens are descendants of the Southeast Asian Red Jungle Fowl, which was first domesticated in India 4,000 years ago. Most of the birds raised for meat in America today are from the Cornish (a British breed) and the White Rock (a breed developed in New England).
According to the USDA, the term fresh on a poultry label refers to any raw product that has never been below 26F. Raw poultry held at 0F or below must be labeled frozen or previously frozen. No specific label is required on raw poultry stored at temperatures between 0F and 25F.
TIP: If you need to defrost a poultry product in a hurry, the only approved method is to place the product in an airtight and leak proof package and immerse it in cold water. It will thaw out in about 2 hours.
As you know, all chickens found in retail stores are either inspected by the USDA or by a state authority with standards equivalent to the Feds. While inspection is mandatory, grading is voluntary. Always look for Grade A products, defined by the USDA as plump, meaty bodies and clean skin, free of bruises, broken bones, feathers, cuts and discoloration.
The Little Woman has been making this chicken dish for years. Inspiration came from a 1980 Cuisinart magazine. It should be prepared on the stovetop in a covered skillet or a Dutch oven big enough to hold 10 chicken thighs. There is always rice left over and it tastes great. Cuban Chicken
Yield: 4 servings with leftovers
See Abbreviations, if needed
· 8-10 chicken thighs, skinned
· 2T EVOO
· 2 onions, diced
· 2 cloves garlic, pureed
· ½ C olives with pimento, rinsed
· 2T capers, rinse with olives
· ½ t oregano
· ¼ t each: rosemary, sage and cumin
· 2 C basmati or other long grain rice
· 4 C chicken stock or broth
1. Select a large skillet that takes a cover
2. Brown chicken thighs in EVOO and set aside
3. Sweat onions in same skillet, to translucent
4. Add garlic
5. Add olives, capers and spices
6. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains
7. Add chicken broth
8. Add S/P to taste
9. Return chicken to the skillet
10. BTB, cover and simmer until chicken is done, about 30 minutes
11. Remove pan from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes