Spanish Chicken, Olive & Spicy Sausage Wild Rice Pilaf
I’ve been steadily going through my stocks of products brought back from our travels in May and June and when I added more items to the grocery cupboard from our short trip to Clarens and Lesotho a few weeks ago, I discovered a box of mysterious looking black rice standing around idly.
Wild rice from Canada, that I found in gourmet food store in Barcelona – in fact, it isn’t a rice at all but a grain, which are seeds of a water grass. The seeds are around two centimeters long and grow longer once cooked, popping slightly like hotdogs. This dark coloured grain has a nutty, almost smokey taste and chewy texture and was originally the favoured staple of the Sioux and Chippawa peoples in North America.
Wild rice does take longer to cook than other varieties, but is higher in protein, folic acid, B vitamins and carbohydrates.
I decided to adapt the paella of Spain and the Indian pilaf, and make a Spanish inspired wild rice dish, using chicken, green peppercorns, spicy sausage and olives.
Serves 4- 6
800 g skinless chicken portions
1 t ginger & garlic paste
2 T olive oil
150 g wild rice, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
1 small onion, finely sliced
2 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
juice and zest of 1 lemon
125 ml white wine
350 ml chicken stock (I used Nomu Liquid fond)
1 T green peppercorns (optional)
1 T dried chilli flakes
125 ml olives (I used black Kalamata. Green would also be good)
salt, to taste
25 cm spicy sausage of your choice such as chorizo, sliced thinly
Pat the chicken pieces dry with kitchen paper towel.
Heat a large bottomed, oven proof pot on medium-high heat on the stove.
Add 1 T olive oil, and fry the chicken pieces rubbed with the ginger & garlic paste, until browned on all sides.
Remove chicken pieces and set aside on a plate.
Turn the heat down to medium and add remaining olive oil.
Fry the onions until translucent. Add the bay leaves, rice and garlic and fry for 2 minutes, before the garlic browns.
Add the white wine and stir, allowing the alcohol to evaporate.
In a pestle and mortar grind the green peppercorns and chilli flakes until the peppercorns have disintegrated.
Add the chicken and any juices, the ground peppercorns/chilli, lemon juice and zest and the stock.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, on one of the lower racks.
Turn up the heat, add salt to taste and cook for 15 minutes.
Add the olives. Seal the pot tightly with heavy duty foil, making a gash in the centre with a sharp knife.
Bake in the oven for 35 minutes.
Remove the pot and add the sausage and stir through.
Bake uncovered for 25 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked.
Note: you may need to use the fan setting to have all the liquid absorbed.
2. If you are in a hurry, par cook the rice till almost done, then mix with the rest of the ingredients and bake with the olives and sausages for 25 -30 minutes in the oven uncovered, using 125 ml stock.
3. The sausage used is a large flavour proponent of the dish. Use a good quality suasage and something you enjoy eating.
4. The flavours develop and deepen overnight, and the liquid dries out even further- you may want to make this dish ahead of time.