Chicken and Rice with Green Olives
A woman from Panama taught me a version of this meal. I love how all the veggies and meat come together in one dish — satisfying, healthy, and easy. This isn’t the first immigrant dish that’s made me think that meat and vegetables are made to be cooked and eaten together instead of kept in separate in piles like uncomfortable acquaintances. The chicken broth pulls all the ingredients together and makes this dish oh so satisfying.

Cooking time: 35 minutes
Serves 2
1 Tablespoon oil
1/4 cup red pepper, medium dice
1 stalk celery, medium dice
1/4 onion, medium dice
1/2 pound boneless chicken
(thighs or breasts)
3/4 cup rice
3 Tablespoon tomato paste
1.5 cups chicken broth
10 green olives

Equipment medium pot with lid, small cutting board or plate, knife, mixing spoon, can opener, liquid measuring cup, measuring spoons (optional), spatula
In medium pot (with lid) on medium-high heat, sauté onions, celery, and red pepper in oil until soft. Slice chicken into half-inch cubes (more or less) and add to veggies. Wash cutting board, knife, and hands immediately to prevent food poisoning caused by ingesting bacteria from raw or undercooked food. Stir chicken and let cook until each piece is opaque throughout. Mix in tomato paste and rice, and let the mass cook about 3 minutes. Mix in chicken broth and green olives and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, turn to low heat, and let cook for ten minutes. With a spatula turn rice so the rice that was on the bottom is on top. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes.

Yellow Rice with Pan-Fried Trout
My husband once brought home a string of fresh Maine trout he caught fly-fishing. I did with them exactly what the Congolese woman in Yarmouth taught me to do with skin-on Tilapia she’d sourced at Sam’s Club. Whatever fish you end up with, it has to have the skin on for this to work. The skin ends up crunchy and delicious. Harbor Fish Market in the Old Port is where I’d go for the best fish.

Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 2
1 Tablespoon oil + 1/4 cup
vegetable oil
1/2 lb. green beans
1 carrot
3/4 cup rice
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1-2 whole rainbow trout or
other skin-on whole fish

Equipment 12-inch sauté pan, 4 qt. pot with lid, cutting board or plate, knife, spatula, spoon, tablespoon, measuring spoons (optional)
Snap off the stem end of beans and discard. Cut across beans so you have half-inch segments. Peel carrot and cut it into pieces the size of peas. Put veggies into a medium sized pot on medium heat with 1 Tablespoon oil and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add rice to the pot and turn to medium heat. Stir in turmeric, parsley, salt, and pepper. Sauté for a couple minutes so the rice sucks in the flavored oil. Then add chicken stock. When liquid is boiling, turn heat to low, cover, and cook for twenty minutes. Put 1/4 cup oil in a 12- inch sauté pan and turn on medium heat. Cut the fish in half crosswise so you have two servings out of 1 fish, or use 2 whole fish. When the oil is glistening hot (but not smoking) gently place one skin side down in the pan. Cook for five minutes or until the skin is golden and crispy. Then flip so the other skin side is down for another five minutes until crispy. Serve fish with the yellow rice.

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