My daugher’s favorite meal

Neither my wife nor I were hungry last night so I made my daughter’s favorite meal

I don’t know what to call it.  The recipe showed up in an email many years ago and I’ve fiddled with it a bit.  It takes me about an hour to go from start to serve

I toast one of those small packages of pine nuts. I think it’s a 1/2 cup, but I’ve never looked.  Toasting is simple.  I heat a small skillet over medium-high heat, add the pine nuts and stir  continuously until they look like toasted bread.  I’ve never been able to do anything else as the nuts go from not toasted enough to charred in just a few seconds.

I cook over low heat, in my dutch oven, about 2 to 2-1/2 pounds of skinless-boneless chicken.  I think thigh meat tastes better than breast meat, but my daughter likes the breast meat.  When the chicken is done, I let it cool enough to handle it and shred it by hand.  If you look at the chicken, you’ll see it has a grain–sort of like wood–and pulling it apart with the grain will make it look like shredded cheese.

I take a couple of HUGE onions or three large onions, skin them and chop them up into tiny pieces.  I tried a food processor once and ended up with mush. It tasted OK but the texture was weird, so I use a sharp knife to chop the onion up into as tiny as possible pieces.

I heat a tablespoon or so of oil over low heat and add the onion.  To this, I add a tablespoon of sugar.  I use powdered sugar as it dissolves more easily.  I cook the onion until it gets a bit soft.  This is another “still it continuously” thing.  Every time I’ve not stirred it the whole time, the onion has caramelized and makes it taste weird.

Once the onion is soft, I add 3 cups of water with a couple of teaspoons of chicken broth crystals into the water.  The jar of crystals says a teaspoon of crystals added to one cup of water equals 1 cup of broth, so  I suppose one could use appropriately diluted chicken broth.

I then add 2 cups of Jasmine rice to the onion/broth mix.  Regular rice, or brown rice makes a totally different taste.  We like Jasmine rice the best.  I cook the rice just like it says on the package–bring to boil, stir a bit, drop to simmer, stir again, cover and cook for 25 minutes.

While the rice is simmering, I shred the chicken.  When the rice is done, I add the chicken, a small handful of chopped cilantro, three or four handfuls of grapes, the toasted pine nuts, 1/2 cup of olive oil, about 2/3 cup of rice vinegar and I stir it up.

Don’t over stir as it will make the rice way more gummy than needed.

This tastes good warm and even better the next day.  As for the size of the cooking stuff–once everything is mixed together, it will slightly overfill a 4 quart bowl


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