November 16, 2010

Gerri’s Southern Chicken Pileau {Naptime Tales from the Trenches}

A Southern Table

A Southern Table

Gerri is a southern girl through and through. A mom, wife and college student she leads a busy life (to say the least!) but still finds time for great food. Here she shares her recipe for Southern Chicken Pileau and the flood of warm family memories it brings.

Having grown up in the deep south, I am blessed to have a wonderful heritage.  Remembering my grandmother’s kitchen, I am drawn back into a time that is now long gone.  However, in my mind’s eye I can still hear, see, and smell the inviting aroma that floated out of her kitchen.  It was divine!  Countless times she would let me stand on my tiptoes in a chair away from the stove and watch her fry chicken in her “black spider” (cast iron frying pan).  It was almost hypnotizing, making it hard for me to look away.  Watching her make biscuits was like watching an artist sculpt a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.  Her hands would mold and shape the dough without any effort.  The warm vanilla fragrance that would permeate the entire house when she was making banana pudding was one I could recognize even blindfolded.  She had no formal education, but one would have to be schooled to cook with love the way she did.  I enjoyed her kitchen and her love for many, many years.  Even though she passed away in 2001, I keep her memory alive by cooking.

My dad was also a gifted, self-taught home cook.  A “daddy’s girl” is what I’ve been all my life and holding that simple title ensured special privileges.  Very often, his flat top stove held countless pots filled with love that he’d have made with me in mind.  Sadly, I no longer have my dad.  He passed away February 15, 2009 but I will forever cherish the priceless memories I have of him.

Today, I am following in my grandmother’s and my dad’s footsteps.  I, like them, cook with love.  One of my favorite dishes that I prepare for my family is a popular southern dish called “Chicken Pileau.”  It is like a hug in a pot.  It requires some work but well worth the effort.  Because I am a wife, mother, and full time college student, I tend to make fairly large portions in order to have leftovers.  It will be even better the next day.

I hope that this recipe will soon become a favorite of other households.  I urge everyone to make special memories with your families each and every day.

Recipe

Southern Chicken Pileau

Ingredients

6 bone-in chicken thighs (leave skin on)
6-8 cups of water (or enough to cover chicken)
5 slices of bacon cut to ½” pieces
1/3 to ½ a package of regular Hillshire sausage, cut into small pieces
4 ½ to 5 cups of chicken broth (stock will come from the boiled chicken thighs)
2 tablespoons Kitchen Bouquet seasoning and browning sauce
cups uncooked Mahatma rice

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Begin by combining chicken thighs, water, salt, and pepper in large stock pot.  Cook on high until pot boils.  Reduce to medium and cook until chicken is tender and falls off bone.  Remove chicken but don’t discard stock.  Pour stock through a strainer into another container.  Allow chicken to cool and then remove from the bone.

In same stock pot, fry bacon pieces on medium heat until crispy.  Then add Hillshire sausage to the bacon and cook for two minutes.  Note: SOME of the bacon grease can be drained off.  Now add the chicken stock, browning sauce, and de-boned chicken.  Be sure to taste the broth now and see if salt or pepper is needed, for this is the time to add it.  Bring to boil, stir, and add in the two cups of uncooked rice.  Bring to a boil again, stir one last time, then cover pot with lid, but not completely.  Allow pot to vent.  Reduce heat to medium low.  DO NOT REMOVE LID OR STIR.  Cook for approximately 25-30 minutes.  Finally, remove pot from stove, cover completely with lid, and do not stir or remove lid for an additional 10 minutes. Stir, fluff, serve, and enjoy!

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

As instructed serve it with rice and a great glass of wine.

Naptime Stopwatch

45 minutes or less.

Naptime Reviews

Recipes like this stand the test of time for a reason. With such a delicious ingredients it is easy to see why this would be so popular on anyone’s family table.

More Naptime Recipes