Friday, November 21, 2014

Rice Cooker Chicken and Shiitake Rice...

Because sometimes you just want rice... and I can't think of a better way to make it so simply and satisfying than in an automatic rice cooker.Think slow cooker for rice, but done in regular cooking time. Short grain rice is best in this method. Add the rice, ingredients, set your rice cooker to start and let it do its magic. Not long after, you will have a pot of flavourful hearty mixed rice the whole family will enjoy! Healthy, comfort and tasty, what's not to love! 

Rice Cooker Chicken and Shiitake Rice
Makes 5-6 servings

2-1/2 cups (rice cup measure) or 2 cups (US measure) short-grain Japanese or Korean rice
1/2 lb. chicken thighs, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 small carrot, cut into short strips
5 dried shiitake mushrooms, rinsed and soaked in 1 cup water for two hours, then thinly slice
1 tsp. Chinese cooking wine or sake to marinate chicken
1-1/2 cups chicken broth or water seasoned with 1/2 tsp. chicken bouillon powder
1/2 cup reserved water from soaking mushrooms
2 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. Chinese cooking wine or sake
2 Tbsp. soy sauce (use less sodium for a less salty profile)
chopped cilantro or green onions for garnish

Wash the rice 30 minutes prior to cooking, and drain on a sieve. Cook's NOTE: If you cook the rice immediately after washing, the grains will not cook up full and plump.

Pour the broth, mushroom soaking water and add the chicken, mushrooms and carrots into a medium pot and bring it to a light boil. Add the sugar and sake, and continue to simmer for one or two minutes. Add the soy sauce and continue to simmer briefly. 

Prepare a sieve with a bowl underneath. Carefully pout the ingredients from the pot onto the sieve and let the liquid separate underneath. Allow to cool. Cook's NOTE: Some rice cookers do not work if the liquid is hot.

Add the rice into the pot, then pour in the simmered liquid. If there is not enough liquid for the amount of rice, add some water. Add the solids and mix everything lightly with a spoon. Start your cooker.

When cooking is finished, keep the cooker covered for 10 minutes to let the grains settle. Open the lid, and mix the rice by folding from bottom to top so that all the ingredients are well distributed. Serve with chopped cilantro or green onions.

The flavours of the ingredients intermingle in harmony. And it smells heavenly!

My boys love this one-pot rice meal! So easy to eat, this is certainly one meal they ask seconds for!

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