September 2004: From Our Kitchen
Cooking for a Crowd
Kick off a party weekend of fun and football with a big bowl of Chicken-and-Smoked Sausage Pilau. This winning one-pot rice dish from South Carolina's Lowcountry is a Test Kitchens favorite for entertaining.
Supermarket shelves are loaded with festive rice mixes that include all the seasonings for a sensational side dish. Get creative--mix-and-match cooked packages of similar flavors such as wild rice and brown rice. Add a sprinkling of fresh herbs or a handful of dried fruit and toasted nuts. The flavor only gets better. Here a few combinations we enjoy:
Note: Jim Pleasants of Williamsburg, Virginia, serves this with his Maple-Balsamic Chicken.
Note: Konriko Wild Pecan Aromatic Rice from Louisiana is one of our favorites. Look for it in your local supermarket, or order directly from www.konriko.com.
Tips and Tidbits
- Uncle Ben's now has five varieties of great-tasting ready-to-eat rice that can be stored in the pantry--just heat for 90 seconds in the microwave, and serve ($1.69 for an 8.8-ounce package)
- When you don't have time to marinate before grilling, transfer hot, cooked boneless chicken breasts to a shallow dish, pour in your favorite vinaigrette, and let stand 2 to 4 minutes; drain before serving.
- A meat-and-poultry pounder (about $7 at kitchen stores) makes fast work of flattening and tenderizing boneless chicken breasts for quick cooking. For easy cleanup, slip the chicken inside a zip-top plastic bag before pounding.