Chicken and Rice Pilaf
Pairs Well With
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast or leg meat, fat removed, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1/2 teaspoon salt + more to taste
Pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups water (editor's note: replace 1/2 cup water with Pedroncelli Chardonnay for more flavor)
1 teaspoon stone-ground mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced
1 cup long-grain rice
3 small tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Thinly sliced basil leaves or minced cilantro
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Combine water, mustard and 1/2 teaspoon salt in small bowl. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to high, add chicken and cook until browned all over. Reduce heat to medium, add rice and stir until all grains have a chance to cook on the bottom of the pan briefly. Add water mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Quickly stir in tomatoes. Cover and continue cooking until rice is tender, 8-10 minutes longer. If water isn't completely evaporated and rice isn't totally done, bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cook an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.
While rice cooks, put almonds in a small skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring often, until lightly toasted, 5-8 minutes. Garnish each serving with basil and almonds.