Monday, May 07, 2007

Icebox Chicken "Doria"

About 8 years ago, my husband and I used to go to a "Mexican" restaurant a very short distance from our apartment. It was only Mexican in that tacos were included as part of the menu. Other than that, the entire menu consisted of various steak dishes (small steaks, smaller steaks, small steaks with an egg, even smaller steaks with an egg, hamburg steak, small steak with rice, etc.) and one chicken dish, chicken doria.

When we went there, it was very unusual to find more than one other patron in the establishment. In fact, it wasn't the least bit uncommon for us to be the only two people there. The restaurant seriously reminded me of the type of place I mentioned in a recent post which doesn't appear to do much business but stays in operation regardless. In fact, they continue to have very few patrons but are still going.

Since I actively dislike steak, I'd always have the chicken doria. It was expensive but rather nice and the place was quiet and spacious. The only other non-steak option, the tacos, were very anemic things. It was a soft corn tortilla filled with what seemed like beef paste, a bit of tomato, a bit of onion, and some overly tangy sauce pretending to be salsa.

Eventually, the restaurant installed a large screen television and a big karaoke set-up. This resulted in them closing off the place for general patronage sporadically so we couldn't eat there just any time. At some point, they completely changed the menu to a Korean barbeque and all the food we liked, such as it was, was gone and we never went there again.

This evening I was sitting around with leftover chicken from a whole bird we'd baked last night trying to think of some tasty way to use it up. While I enjoy chicken in general, I tend to find baked chicken really boring as leftovers. I remembered the doria that I used to have and decided to give making something similar a shot.

I researched doria recipes on the Internet but mainly found seafood recipes or recipes that included things I didn't have or couldn't buy because I live in Japan. In the end, I raided the refrigerator and my pantry to come up with something which I really enjoyed and was similar to what I used to have though I'd guess one wouldn't technically call it a true "doria".

Icebox Chicken "Doria":
  • 400 grams cooked rice (about 4-5 cups)
  • 1 very large chicken breast (cooked and cut into small pieces)
  • 1 can of Campbell's condensed chicken soup
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1 cup of low fat milk (or full fat if you prefer)
  • 1/2 small onion (diced finely)
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup shredded (mild) cheese ("mixed cheese" in Japan is fine)
  • pepper (to taste)
  • one small can of mushroom slices (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F./175 degrees C. Spray a glass baking dish (or metal if that's all you have) with cooking spray or grease very sparingly.

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter in the pan then add the diced onion. Cook the onion until it is soft and starts to caramelize just a bit. If you want mushrooms, drain the canned mushrooms, rinse them, pat them dry and stir them into the butter and onion mixture and cook for a short while.

Stir in the diced chicken. Add the wine, milk and soup. Heat until hot but not boiling. Stir in the rice until it is warmed and evenly mixed (heating cold cooked rice will break it apart). Pepper to taste and stir. Pour the rice mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with cheese. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes on a center rack. It should be bubbling hot but the cheese should not be browned except perhaps at the very edges. Serve with Tabasco sauce if desired.

Note that the rice should be slightly wetter than you're going to want it to be in the finished dish. If it seems too dry while you're heating the mixture in the saucepan, add more milk. You don't want the final dish to be dried out. It should be creamy but still hold it's shape to a large extent when served. It's better to err on the side of making it too wet than too dry.

You can use any type of cheese you like but something with a milder taste (Gouda, for instance) is better than something overbearing like cheddar.


tornados28 said...

So do you know if the "Mexican" restaurant you used to go to that changed to Korean BBQ is doing better business now?

Shari said...

We haven't really checked on it much but I'm pretty sure it didn't pick up. I think the main problem is their location. They are in a residential area and there just aren't enough people eating out at night to bring in many customers.