Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rosemary Chicken with Wild Rice

Wild rice is one of my favorite ingredients to cook with and also has some interesting history behind it. According to :

Many native American Indian tribes used wild rice as an important staple in their diets and considered it the centerpiece of their Megwetch Manomin Feast that followed the first harvest. During the long, cold winters when the lakes were frozen and hunting was difficult, their precious stores of wild rice nourished -- often as the primary element of their diet, a testament to the nutritional properties. They had great reverence for "the precious grain sent by the Great Spirit to serve as food." The grain was so valuable to subsistence that tribes sometimes waged wars over wild rice territories. The Chippewa tribe even carried small pouches of wild rice with them whenever they traveled.

Before any explorers set foot on the North American continent, wild rice was gathered by Indians over an expansive of area North America from the Atlantic coast to the Mississippi Valley. Archaeologists found charred remains of wild rice seeds in threshing pits in the northern states that existed long before there was contact with Europeans. By the early part of the1900s, only clear lakes and rivers of the most northern regions of Minnesota could still support the growth of wild rice and provide the Indians their staple food.

It became known as "wild rice" because the explorers noticed Indians gathering it in the waters of the Great Lakes region. As they observed it rising 3 or 4 feet above the water, it reminded them of rice paddies.

This recipe combines the flavors of wild rice and rosemary and is delicious served with some steamed green beans topped with some almonds. I hope this recipe brings comfort and flavor to your home.

Here is how:
1. Cook 1 cup of wild rice according to the package directions.

2. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil. Add 2 cloves of garlic (minced) and saute until golden (about 2 minutes).

3. Add:
- 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cubed)
- 2 carrots (chopped)

4.  Saute, stirring frequently (about 3-4 minutes). Next, stir in 2 Tbs. of fresh rosemary, (chopped), and cook until the chicken is cooked through (about 3-4 minutes longer).

5. Stir in:
- 1/4 cup orange marmalade
- 1/8 cup dijon mustard
- 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

6. Cook, stirring frequently, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and toss to combine.

Here is to outdoor flavors! xo

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