Thursday, February 4, 2010

Rice and Beans and the Mother of the Chicken

I had an amazing experience when I did my externship from the Culinary Institute of America. I worked at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida under a Swiss gentleman named Manfred Hacker. He was the Executive Chef of the hotel kitchen. He was a very discerning boss and luckily was impressed by my work ethic and made it possible for me to work all of the different stations in the kitchen. There I worked with a Saucier named Tato. He was a passionate cook and made fantastic mashed yucca, rice and beans and roasted chicken. He used to say "we've got to have rice and beans and the mother of the chicken". This is not only a staple in Spanish homes in North and South America, it is so good for you and a very satisfying feast. Here is my version of rice and beans. I have made the beans, which are pinto, but you can use this method for black, kidney or chili beans. I made my yellow rice with long grain brown rice and added saffron and turmeric. I will blog my roast chicken, called " Galina" at a later date. Hope you enjoy this tasty combo and make this a staple in your home as well! Add a tossed salad to round out the meal. Wishing you excellent health and happiness!

Ingredients for the rice

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, medium dice
3 cloves minced garlic
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. saffron
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup long grain brown rice
4 cups chicken broth


In a 2 quart pot saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat,until the vegetables are tender, but not browned. About 5-7 minutes.
Add the herbs, seasoning and rice and stir to coat. Cook stirring occasionally for 2 minutes. Add the broth and stir, raise heat to high. Bring to a boil, cover,

then lower the heat to simmer gently for 45 minutes, until the rice is cooked through and all of the liquid is absorbed. Check the rice while it is cooking and if it is dry before cooked through add a bit of water.

Serves 4

For the beans


2 Cups Pinto Beans or black, kidney or chili beans
Water to cover for soaking
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 cup diced bacon(optional)
5 carrots cut into 1 inch pieces
6 whole peeled garlic cloves
1 onion medium dice
2 tsp. sea salt
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs thyme
2 tsp. cumin (optional)
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
Water to cover for cooking


In a heavy gauge pot, cover the beans with water and soak overnight.
In a colander, rinse the beans thoroughly. If you are using the bacon render it in a large enameled cast iron pot with the olive oil until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients except the beans and water and cook stirring often until the vegetables are softened. Then add the beans and water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook the beans for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Skim the beans every 1/2 hour and then stir. Add more water if necessary. Alternatively, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. This is my favorite method to cook the beans. Make sure the pot is ovenproof, an enamel covered cast iron pot with a lid works well. Combine all of the remaining ingredients in the pot. Bring to a boil, cover the pot and place into the preheated oven. Stir occasionally and simmer in the oven until beans are fully cooked and tender. Serve with the rice.

Recipes and Photos by Karen Pickus
Courtesy Karen Pickus 2010


Anonymous said...

Great photos

Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

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