Thursday, August 22, 2013

The A-B-Cs of Pilaf (Almonds, Bulgar & Cornflower) - Bulgar & Mushroom Pilaf

I figured it was about time that I dispense with talking about the pieces I have found or tragic demises involving transportation of said pieces of said found-ness and start to concentrate on the actual USE of said found pieces.  After all, what's the use in collecting Corningware and rescuing it from the clutches of a landfill if it's just going to sit around and collect dust.  Vintage Corningware should be allowed to fulfill it's culinary destiny or it could get depressed.  Granted, I am anthropomorphizing it a little bit.  But I am sure that if Corningware did have feelings, it would be really upset to simply be ensconced on a shelf somewhere.

So Tuesday evening, I decided to roast a chicken... Which, in all honesty, I don't do as much as I probably should.  It's a fairly healthy way to go, as far as a main dish.  Especially with my rack and roaster, so all the fat can simply drip away (and be saved for unctuous gravy at a later date).

Roasting is pretty straight forward.  I find that the wing tips often burn, so I put the chicken in a yoga pose, with the tips of the wings behind it's back, then set the chicken on the rack, breast side up.

Season with salt and cracked pepper and place in a preheated 400F (200C) degree oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 375 (190C) and continue roasting for about 20 minutes per pound, minus 1lb.  (i.e. 5 lb chicken...  15 minutes on 400 then 1 hour 20 minutes on 375 for the remaining 4 lbs)  Then again, if you have a temperature probe, simply roast until the inner thigh reaches 165F (75C) degrees.

Either way, a roasted chicken is a beautiful thing to behold.  Especially when it is resting languidly in a Corningware P-21 Roaster.  I'm just sayin'.

So what do you have with said roasted chicken?  Well, it's time to take a walk on the Mediterranean-ish side.   Bulgar Pilaf.  True, when thinking of Pilaf most people think of rice, and that is the typical rendition.  But me being me, I like to change things up a little every once in awhile.  Not to mention that I get "riced" out simply because I make Risotto ALL the time.  Thus, Bulgar Pilaf fits the bill quite nicely. 

So what exactly IS Pilaf... Well, all I can really tell ya is that it is fairly common in the Balkans & Southeastern Asia where it is known by many names such as pilav, pulaw, pulao, polow, or plov.  It is basically the same thing as a Risotto, though the type of rice is different and there is NO stirring involved.  On some level, I feel this makes it easier to execute that Risotto, and just about as tasty.  It really depends on how you like your rice.  Fluffy individual grains?  Go with Pilaf.  Swimming in an unctuous sauce?  Go with Risotto.  Oh, and as far as I am concerned, Pilaf just isn't Pilaf without some type of nut being added.  For me, that usually means slivered Almonds or Pistachio.

Technically, Pilaf should be cooked completely on the stove and not be baked in the oven.  But since I use Corningware to make Pilaf, I utilized the oven, mainly because I can.  There is another reason for baking pilaf in the oven, though.  If the Pilaf is out of sight, then it's out of mind.  This can be a good thing if you are a chronic sneaker peeker like I am, cause the secret to good Pilaf, whether with Rice or Bulgar is DO NOT lift that lid!!  

Bulgar Pilaf with Mushrooms

2 cups Chicken Stock, warmed
2 TB unsalted Butter
2 ribs Celery, diced
1/2 a medium Onion, diced
4 oz Crimini Mushrooms, sliced thin
1 1/2 cups Bulgar Wheat
Juice and Zest of 1 Lemon
3 TB Parsley, chopped fine
1/2 - 3/4 cup Slivered Almonds, toasted
P-10-B with Lid (or older 10 inch skillet with Pyroceram lid, or A-10-B)
1 quart Saucemaker (P-55 or P-64 or, if you have one, the small 1 pint Saucemaker)

Preheat the oven to 350F (175C) degrees and get your mise en plas in place.  :)

Begin warming the chicken stock in your Saucemaker set over medium flame.

Yes, I am using my mysterious 1 Pint one.

Place the 10 inch skillet over medium-low flame as well and begin melting the Butter.

Once the butter is melted, add the Celery and Onion, sweating until almost tender.

Add the Mushrooms and cook until they begin to release their liquid.

Add the Bulgar and toast, stirring, until it begins to smell nutty (about 5 minutes)

Add the warm Chicken Stock.

Stir in the Lemon Juice, Lemon Zest and Parsley.

Bring to a simmer.

Cover. (OK, NO more peeking)

Move to the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven.... OK, NOW you can peek.

Add the Almonds.

Stir, or rather fluff everything up, with a fork.

Recover and place in a handy Platinum Cradle (P-10-M-1)

Remove cover for serving.

Where is your Corningware??


  1. found a couple of petite pans, a 43 and 41, in wheat pattern at the thrift store. You are right it is a nice pattern.

  2. Congratulations!!!! Yes, it really is a nice pattern. I found a 43 a couple of days ago and got all excited then I noticed the handle was chipped. Total bummer.

  3. Shane, your pilaf looks so yummy. I think I'll be trying your pilaf recipe soon, except I'll substitute with some quinoa as I have that lying around instead of the bulgar wheat.

    Your chicken looks great. Did you brush any butter at all on the skin because the colour is such a nice golden brown.

    So, I finally messed up a Corning ware by forgetting about it on the burner and burning it to an inch of its life. I was making an ice cream base and forgot about it when I took a call. Next thing you know, I smell burned cream, curdled eggs, and a Corning with so much black on it that I thought I'd have to chuck it. It took so long to get it back to its non-burned state.

  4. Quinoa sounds like an excellent substitution.

    Honestly, all I did was salt and pepper the chicken and throw it in the oven. It came out so great, I just HAD to take a picture of it. (It was a "Foster Farms" Chicken)

    Oh no! I hope the piece is OK now. Sorry about the ice cream base though. :(


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.