Latin-Style Chicken and RiceHere’s a dish that features good, simple, chicken flavor, thanks to the tasty dark meat of chicken thighs. I cooked the “Latin-Style Chicken and Rice,” from the December 2008 issue of Gourmet, in my 6-qt. Dutch oven. I’ll always be wowed by the promise of a “one-pot dinner.” I browned 6 chicken thighs for 10 minutes, then cooked the onion and garlic for 6 minutes. Instead of chicken broth, I used vegetable-bouillon broth.

I enjoyed the beautiful yellow color from the saffron threads. Indeed, the rice-saffron-peas combination was a winner. This dish, I discovered, outperformed itself as leftovers.

Tomato, Corn, and Basil SoupI also made the “Tomato, Corn, and Basil Soup,” from Drweil.com, because I get a kick out of combining tomatoes with corn. The trick with this soup is not to make it taste like tomato sauce! Having said that, my young child loved this soup. I cooked my onion for 2 minutes, then my tomatoes for 5 minutes. I used canned Muir Glen organic, fire-roasted, crushed tomatoes and frozen corn. Rather than use plain water, I added 1 cup of vegetable-bouillon broth to the pot. I also added 2 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. This is the kind of soup that would welcome any level of spice that you think to introduce to it. Enjoy this one.

RECIPES: simple chicken and rice can never be wrong; if you’re a fan of tomato soup, you’ll make this one work for you
PREP TIMES: chicken and rice needs more than an hour; the soup will take a quarter of that time
TASTES: dark, hearty chicken in saffron-colored rice; robust soupy mix of corn and tomatoes

Let’s return to fish, next time. I’ll prepare “Hazelnut-Crusted Salmon,” from Allrecipes.com, along with “Wilted Kale and Roasted-Potato Winter Salad,” again from the December 2008 issue of Gourmet. Witness my results when you come back to my site on Sunday, April 26.