Friday, October 9, 2009

Chicken with Mushrooms , Fresh Peas, Carrots and Basmati Rice

I grew up going to the Farmers' market every week, even twice a week sometimes. "Faire le marché"  is a social event, an activity rooted in the life of (some) French people: people get to know each other and exchange the latest news; customers have their favorite vendors and tend to be very loyal; politicians come to shake hands and discuss their latest projects, etc...

Most vendors are not producers though. They buy wholesale at the Central Market and then sell on different farmers' markets. In smaller towns or villages producers sell direct. They are now trying to do the same in bigger cities.
Coming to the US, it was a real pleasure to find Farmers' markets where producers sell direct. The Food Trust organization has done a great job bringing more Farmers' markets in Philadelphia and I would just hope that we could have Farmer's market even in the winter months...
While I am totally in favor or supporting small local farmers, I sometimes balk at prices! However, when I find the right products at an acceptable price, I purchase them at the market. I found fresh peas at the Headhouse Farmers' Market the other day. I really like fresh peas and I found them worth both price and labor.
Since I was still on my low-iodine diet, I decided to make a simple dish with Basmati Rice (low in iodine). Instead of using a sodium-loaded chicken bouillon to cook the rice, I just cooked it with carrots, olive oil, and non-iodized salt. It was just perfect for the entire family! Bon Appétit!
- Chicken breast cut into small pieces
- 1 onion minced
- 1 carrot sliced
- 1 cup fresh peas shelled
- 1 cup mushrooms sliced
- Olive oil, salt, and fresh black pepper
- Basmati Rice

  • In a saute pan, saute the onion in olive oil until transparent
  • Add the chicken and cook thoroughly
  • Add the mushrooms
  • Add the fresh peas and cook until the peas are cooked but not mushy
  • Add salt and black pepper to taste
For the rice
  • In a pot, boil some water with olive oil, salt, and carrots
  • Add the Basmati Rice. Cook according to packaging instructions.
  • Mix chicken into rice or serve separately

My personal comments:
  • If you have someone to help you shell fresh peas (think a nice evening with a glass of wine!), it's worth purchasing a lot, shelling them, and freezing them in small bags. 
  • You could add fresh peas in the rice as well. If you have leftover rice, you could serve it it with shrimp on another evening.
  • Be aware that Basmati rice cooks faster than regular long grain rice.
  • My husband would add soy-sauce to this dish. I personally think that it kills the fresh peas (in addition to thinking that it adds too much sodium! (see my previous post on salt))
  • If I have leftover, I put it in my children's lunch box the next day.

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