Since I've been living in Asia where white rice is ubiquitous with every meal and you can practically walk out of a 7-Eleven with a rice cooker, I've become addicted to the stuff hook, line, and sinker (baguette, who?). I would've thought I'd get sick of it, but no—my craving has only gotten worse. But I only feel like eating white rice because, along with whole wheat pasta, nutty and hearty brown rice is never a first choice (though I'll eat it if it's in front of me). So when my friend Ross was visiting from out of town and requested that we switch up our white rice binges with brown rice, I begrudgingly gave in and bought a tiny box of it.
In the end I'm grateful for my friend's intervention. Brown rice is indeed delicious, and it works remarkably well in this one-pot meal. For this dish, dark meat chicken thighs are browned and then tucked into the pot to simmer with sautéed shiitake mushrooms, leeks, crunchy water chestnuts, and brown rice. For the fluffiest texture, rinse the rice to remove any excess starch. Even after cooking for 40 minutes on the stove, the brown rice is still nice and chewy, and the chestnuts are incredibly crisp. (If you can source fresh chestnuts at the market, even better). Flavorful sesame oil pulls all of the ingredients together in this hearty and satisfying meal.
About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Easy Artisan Bread. You can also watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. She presently lives in Singapore working on her new baking cookbook, and as a recipe developer for HungryGoWhere Singapore. Check out her blog: shophousecook.com . Follow Yvonne on Twitter.