Carolina Pilau

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 8 servings
  • Prep 15 mins
  • Cook 80 mins

Chicken, salt pork, and vegetable transform plain rice into a one-dish meal.

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Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

Ingredients

4 ounces salt pork, slab bacon or Italian pancetta, cut ¼-inch thick and diced
1 large onion, chopped
2 large celery stalks, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
4 cups lower-sodium chicken broth or water
3 1/2 pounds chicken pieces, light and dark
1 teaspoon each dried thyme, parsley, sage, marjoram (or 1 tablespoon each chopped fresh herbs)
2 bay leaves
1 small whole hot pepper (optional)
2 cups seeded and diced fresh tomatoes, with their juices
Rind of 1 lemon, removed with a vegetable peeler in 2 or 3 large pieces (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Coarsely ground black pepper
2 cups long-grain white rice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Rinse pork well, especially if it is very salty, and pat dry. Place in a Dutch oven or flameproof, lidded casserole dish and sauté over medium heat until fat is rendered and pork is browned. Spoon off all but 2 tablespoons of fat.
  2. Add onion and celery and sauté until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth and increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil, skimming off any scum that rises, and reduce heat to medium.
  3. Add chicken, dried or fresh herbs, bay leaves, hot pepper, tomatoes and lemon zest, if using, to the simmering liquid. Continue simmering, covered, until chicken is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove, skin and bone chicken, then cut or shred meat into bite-sized pieces. You may skim off the excess fat, but leave at least 2 tablespoons. Return chicken meat to pot.
  4. Wash rice. Drain thoroughly in a wire sieve and add to pot. Increase heat briefly until it comes back to a simmer, then reduce heat as much as possible, cover, and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove and discard bay leaves, hot pepper pod and zest, if using. Fluff rice with a fork. The grains should be moist but separate and not split. Immediately turn onto a platter or serve directly from pot.

 

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