Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Osomoso - Chicken and Rice Recipe (Uncle Shabtai)

My Osomoso dish includes chicken and rice, is simple to make but yet has unique flavors and appearance. It was first created in our kitchen (located in the US north west) out of the longing and appreciation to the Middle Eastern cuisine. After having it for the first time, it filled me with strong family memories, sad and funny ones, so I gave it the name "Osomoso", after my uncle Shabtai (false name...) who keeps telling, over and over again, the same old silly story about an incident he once had, involving lamb Osso Buco. No, I won't repeat his story.... I had enough leftovers of it on my mind, especially now that I have my own Osomoso, that I can decorate it with a silly story and tell it over and over again as well: Once upon a time.... forget about it, I can't really do that.
Anyway, I think that regardless the "Osso buco uncle", Osomoso is a cute name that perfectly fits its identity and flavor. Want to try it ? - No need to hear any boring stories - here is the recipe:

(ingredients for 2-3 servings)

1 pound of chicken tenders
1/4 cup of (a good) red wine
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

ground chili pepper

1 spoon of olive oil

1 spoon of raspberry jelly
1 spoon of salt

Yellow Mujadara Rice:
(ingredients for 2-3 servings)

3/4 cup basmati rice
5 spoons of brown lentils

1 big carrot - cut into slices

1 small onion - cut into small pieces

olive oil
1 teaspoon of turmeric
ground pepper
1 1/2 cup of water
How to prepare the Osomoso's yellow Mujadara rice:
(While preparing the rice you can put the chicken in the marinade)
bring to boil the brown lentils in salted water. Lower the heat and cook for 15 minutes. Strain the lentils.

In a different pot - stir fry the onion and the carrot in olive oil for 3-4 minutes.

Add the rice and and the strained lentils and stir for a few seconds. Add 1 1/2 cups of water, turmeric, salt, pepper and parsley and bring to boil. Lower heat to "low" and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the rice is ready.


How to prepare the Osomoso chicken:
In a bowl put the wine, the jelly, the mustard ,the ground chilly, salt and olive oil .
Dip the chicken tenders in the marinade and refrigerate for an hour.
Set the oven to its "broil" setting and put a grill pan inside. when the oven is hot enough put the chicken tenders on the boiling pan.

Broil for 8 minutes and then turn chicken tenders over, and broil additional 8 minutes.
I like to serve the Osomoso with a fresh piece of lemon. few sprinkles of lemon juice make it just perfect!

A peaceful jump over to the Middle East

OK, OK ! - If you still insist on hearing my uncle's story here it is, a special edition, just for you:
My uncle Shabtai starts his story, describing the dreams of lamb Osso Buco that he dreamed when he was a kid, a dish that his mom considered to be a royal food. Unfortunately, she never cooked it for him, since his father couldn't stand the smell of any lamb dishes (in his words: "not as a Osso Buco and not as Shish Kebabs!")
Many years later, after he moved to Tel Aviv and could afford it, he wanted to celebrate his first year as a young lawyer, at a restaurant that he heard serves Osso Buco (Gabi's - not in business any more). He made reservation for all the family (his mom, his 2 brothers and his sister and the kids) for 6PM Sharp.
At 5PM , Miriam Shapira the wife of his main client, Moti Shapira (for whom he had won a case a week before), knocked at the office door. Her hands were filled with piles of food: Pastries, chicken liver ("chopped liver", his favorite) and green stuffed peppers. He couldn't resist the delicatessens nor could he reject the thankful gesture coming from the wife of his main client who prepared all this as a just for him. She was a large woman and she watched his bites closely, made sure that he tasted enough from everything. By 6PM when he met his extended hungry family at Gabi's he had space only for dessert, but he did order Osso Buco.
My uncle Shabtai likes to end his story with - "It wasn't an easy experience to see all the family eating, leaving nothing on their plates, while I was stuck with the supreme Osso Buco of Gabie's - and could not finish even half of it.
My uncle Shabtai still invites the family to good restaurants (that is why we agree to hear the story again and again) but he never orders a lamb Osso Buco.

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