4 hours ago
Friday, September 28, 2012
Sometimes it's fun to cook outside of your comfort zone.
I recently received a copy for review of The Southern Foodie: 100 Places to Eat in the South Before You Die.
When I say "comfort zone", I mean that I don't usually cook with a lot of butter, I rarely fry things and I don't use ingredients that are not local to me.
Grits are foreign to me, having only been in Birmingham, Alabama once in my life, and oyster stew and creole eggplant are just not something I would usually make.
But I LOVED leafing thru this cookbook, which is broken up into states.
There's Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Louisiana, West Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina and Kentucky and all the popular Southern restaurants with the chef's recipes that make these establishments well known.
I was a bit intimidated by these beautiful regional recipes.
I was not familiar with pan fried rabbit livers or salt & pepper pork rinds (though it all sounded amazing to me), corn fritters and pimiento cheese sounded safe, but I decided to choose ATLANTA'S (the east coast city of the South!) HOLEMAN AND FINCH PUBLIC HOUSE recipe: Chicken Peanut Perloo.
What the heck is a "perloo" anyway? I think they should call it "Whoo Hoo Perloo!".
It was that good.
Check out their website and menu, I want to go to there.
Do not skip the peanuts in this recipe, they make the dish outstanding.
Chicken & Peanut Perloo (adapted from The Southern Foodie) by Chris Chamberlain:
8 chicken thighs skin on, bone in
kosher salt & pepper
1 cup Carolina long grain rice (you can use any rice you like)
1/4 lb. smoked bacon
1 cup diced onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp peanut oil
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup minced tomato
1 bay leaf
4 thyme sprigs
1/2 cup of fresh chopped parsley
1/4 cup of chopped roasted peanuts, chopped
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 325 F.
Heat peanut oil in large Dutch oven on medium high heat.
Season chicken thighs liberally with kosher salt and pepper and sauté in oil till golden brown on each side, remove from pan and reserve.
To the pan, add bacon and cook till golden brown then add the onions and sweat the onions until translucent but without too much color, then add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.
At this point, if there is too much fat in the pan, carefully drain some out, leaving a few tablespoons, then add rice, peanuts and coat well. Add the tomatoes and stir.
Add the stock, bay leaf, parsley and thyme, bring to a simmer, add the chicken thighs, cover and bring to another simmer, place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
This was nothing short of excellent, I loved the addition of roasted peanuts and the simplicity of this stew. Perfect for the chilly months ahead.
The desserts in the book look decadent and amazing too, especially the Alabama Bubble Bread (made w/ storebought dinner rolls, vanilla pudding, butter and sugar......can you say Paula Deen?).
Leave us a comment telling us your favorite Southern recipe and one random reader will receive a copy of The Southern Foodie. Winner will be announced on Wednesday.
Have a good y'all!