Wednesday Dinner: Yasmin Fahr’s Greek-Style Pilaf with Chicken Thighs

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Have we discussed Yasmin Fahr before? We have. Okay, well, suffice it to say I’m a big fan of the recipes she develops, though I was skeptical of this one. First, I didn’t think that a pilaf with cooked meat would come together in less than 40 minutes of active cooking. I was wrong. Second, I was worried that the artichokes would taste funny among the otherwise bland rice and chicken. Again, wrong.

Third, I thought that the feta would make things messy. The jury is still out there as this was the item I forgot at the store this week. There’s usually one. I’m okay with feta being the forgotten one. It’s usually a bigger problem when I forget milk  or yogurt, staples of The Kid’s diet.

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WHAT WORKED: This was a really easy thing to pull together. It’s not the quickest dinner I’ll make this week, but even with all of my ingredient prep, I was still under one hour from start to table.

WHAT DIDN’T: Me and the feta.

WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: “I didn’t think rice pilaf was Greek. It’s good though.”

WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Yes, though I may drop the chicken, cut this in half and make it a side for future purposes.

Greek-Style Pilaf with Chicken Thighs
Adapted from the original by Yasmin Fahr for Serious Eats

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (JARED’S NOTE: Fahr calls for skin-on. Truth be told, the bone-in, skin-on thighs were disgusting at the store. It was like a package had broken and leaked chicken juice all over the place.)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano leaves (JARED’S NOTE: Use 2 tbsp. of fresh, if in season.)
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 3/4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 15 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed and cut into chunks (JARED’S NOTE: I got lazy. I drained the brine and used a knife to chop up the artichokes in the can.)
  • 2 tbsp. fresh juice and 2 teaspoons zest from 1 lemon
  • 3 oz. crumbled feta cheese

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Heat the oil in a Dutch oven until it shimmers and smokes slightly. Season both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper and half of the oregano. Place the thighs in a pan, skin-side down, and cook 8 to 10 minutes, until browned. Flip over and cook an additional 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

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Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Add the garlic and the remainder of the oregano. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.

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Add the rice, stirring constantly until it gives off a nutty aroma and begins to toast. Stir in the stock, artichokes, and lemon zest and juice. Set the chicken thighs on top, skin-side up this time, and cover. Simmer 15 minutes.

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Uncover, top with the feta cheese and serve immediately.

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