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Rice and Vegetable Filled Capons

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INGREDIENTS

 

12  chicken bottoms (whole legs), deboned but with skin left intact (called “capons” in kosher butchers)

Filling:

2 Tbsp oil

1 small onion, diced

2 red pepper, diced

1  green pepper, diced

1 Tbsp Kosher salt

1 Tbsp agave, xylitol or granulated sugar

¼  tsp paprika

¾  cup white rice

 

Topping:

1 cup apricot jam or spread

This is the perfect meal for any special occasion. What I like to do is make double the amount of filling so I will be sure to have an additional side dish or leftover for the next day. This mixture is particularly scrumptious placed on slices of fried breaded eggplant. Sometimes I even top this with mushroom sauce.

 

DIRECTIONS

  1.   Heat the oil in a 4 qt. saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onion; sauté until translucent. Add the peppers, salt, agave and paprika; sauté for 5 to 10 minutes or until softened. Add 3 cups of water; bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir in the rice; cook for 5 minutes.
  2.  Reduce the heat to low; cook, covered, for 12 minutes or until the water has been absorbed by the rice.
  3.   Preheat the oven go 350F°. Line a 9” x 13” baking pan with parchment paper. Place the chicken bottoms, skin side down, in the pan. Spoon 2 Tbsp of the rice filling in the center of each bottom. (You will have rice left over).
  4.   Fold two sides over to the center and then bring over the other two sides. Roll the chicken bottoms over carefully so that the seams are facing down. Arrange the chicken bottoms tightly together, as snugly as possible so that they don’t open. Brush the apricot jam over the chicken bottoms. (Dish can be frozen at this point for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.)
  5.  Bake, covered, in the center of the preheated oven for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Uncover; cook for 15 minutes.

Makes 12 servings

 

Sidebar:  Typically, I don’t like to freeze dishes that contain rice. However, this recipe is the exception to that rule. I find that the extra fat that usually accompanies capons provides a protective coating that helps the rice maintain its luxe texture and consistency. It’s also important to use white rice for this dish since it absorbs the excess moistness and flavor in the filling. When I tried other varieties, for example brown rice, the filling fell part and didn’t absorb the flavor of the vegetables and the slices did not cut nearly as cleanly.