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Cook ahead chicken thigh idea?

I have to cook some defrosted chicken thighs today, but I will be out of the house from about 5PM until 9. Any thoughts about what to make with some chicken thighs that will be OK reheated? Originally, I was planning on doing Lidia Bastianich's chicken thighs with rice, but I fear that risotto-like rice will not hold well. Any ideas?

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  1. Make a cajun style chicken stew.

    Make a dark roux
    Add onion celery and bellpepper and cook it down in the roux
    add chicken stock and chicken
    season with salt pepper and a little cayenne if you wish
    serve over white rice.

    Longer it cooks the better it gets.

    Heres a similar web recipe if you need more detailed instructions
    http://www.food.com/recipe/cajun-chic...

    3 Replies
    1. re: twyst

      Any braised chicken recipe will be better later, better yet two days form now. I like them braised with onions and prunes.

      1. re: twyst

        Hey Twyst -

        I recently made a thread about cooking Cajun style 'rice and gravy.' I think you might dig it. It's similar to the stew, but it doesn't involve any roux or chicken stock. Instead, it achieves a dark color, deep flavor, and thick texture by creating a fond in the pan, deglazing with a bit of water, cooking off that water, and repeating the process over and over and over again. The depth of flavor is amazing. Here is the link:

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/823160

        Apologies if you're already familiar with the technique.

        Anyway, it's certainly an option - one of many - for the OP. It will indeed be even better if you rest it for a while and then reheat.

        1. re: cowboyardee

          That sounds delicious. Being from new orleans it seems we start everything with a roux but I am really looking forward to trying this as Im sure its a good bit lighter and still delivers all the flavor.

          Your recipe is actually very close to the way most people make jambalaya, except you cooked your rice separately. Next time if you are feeling adventurous you might try adding a little sausage and then when the last amount of water goes in add your rice to the pot as well. (correct rice to water ratio for cooking rice of course)

      2. Do you have a slow cooker? They'd be great in that, a variety of ways.
        A chicken stew is a good idea. You can cook rice ahead of time (plain), then simply reheat it and put a scoop into the stew when ready to eat.

        1. No, I don't have a slow cooker. I also have a timid eater as a house guest who doesn't like strong flavors, and is Muslim, so no wine, which lets out a lot of braises I do...

          1 Reply
          1. re: roxlet

            You don't need wine to braise. Just use stock. Make a simple cacciatore, without the wine. I hardly ever use wine while cooking.

            1. This is an excellent recipes. Requires marinating, which I don't know if it makes it a deal breaker or even better for you. Tastes better the next day and excellent cold. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

              1. WRONG! I combine precooked boneless chicken thighs with risotto every time my wife asks me to make it. The chicken thighs are baked at 325 degrees for about a half hour, then cut into smaller chunks. Arborio rice is used for the risotto. The process starts with a soffritto (italian spelling, not Spanish), then rice is added and coated with oil by mixing with soffritto along with either Marsala or Madeira. Of course, there's heated chicken stock (sometimes turkey stock) to add when needed. When the risotto is near done, the chicken pieces are added. WORKS EVERY TIME!

                5 Replies
                1. re: ChiliDude

                  Then, do you put it in the fridge and reheat the risotto later? That was the question, whether or not the risotto will hold up to make ahead and reheating. Not the chicken thighs.

                  1. re: wyogal

                    Risotto is one of those dishes that should be eaten upon completion of the preparation. Rice like pasta continues to absorb the liquid. The risotto may lose its creaminess and be sticky upon reheating after being refrigerated. The absorption of liquid will continue until the cool temperature is reached. That has been my experience with leftover risotto. We often have some leftover because we have an empty nest and my wife eats very small portions. It's not worthwhile for me to make risotto using less rice and liquid.

                    1. re: ChiliDude

                      Which is exactly what the OP was talking about and wanting to avoid.

                      1. re: wyogal

                        Lo so! That's an Italian expression.

                        1. re: ChiliDude

                          Anche io. That's another Italian expression. The only way I will eat per-made risotto is as an arancini.

                2. Thanks all. I was so stuck this morning, but I'm going for a braise with mushrooms and onions. I took it off at 90% done and will heat and finish cooking later. Rice is in the rice cooker, and holds for 12 hours, so all should be fine.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: roxlet

                    yum! almost exactly what i was going to suggest, except i was going to say onions, mushrooms and artichoke hearts :)

                    1. re: roxlet

                      i am not a food-safety freak.

                      that being said, poultry should never be par-cooked. you need to cook it all the way and then gently reheat. it's why you never see rec's to par-cook thanksgiving birds.

                      since it's a done deal, make sure you get your meat to 160ish for at least 15 minutes tomorrow. preferably longer.

                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                        Well, we're all still here. It was virtually completely cooked, but not falling off the bone. I brought it to a boil when we got home to reheat and reduce the sauce. It was very good, and I could have made more.