I've heard of people cooking entire meals in a rice cooker but I'd never tried it—until now. So far, I'm just in love with its intended function: perfect rice every time, and a warming function that means I never have to worry about timing again. Still, the idea of throwing some rice, chicken stock, vegetables and meat into a rice cooker and having dinner ready in under an hour is pretty appealing, even if the result is a bit humble.
It became very appealing when a food writer at the Austin American-Statesman called this recipe "the most delicious chicken and rice dish in memory."
It comes from Roger Ebert's new cookbook The Pot and How to Use It: The Mystery and Romance of the Rice Cooker, a strange departure not only for a film critic but for someone who has lost the ability to eat or speak. No matter, this is the kind of comfort-food dish that everyone should have in their repertoire. It's adaptable and foolproof (as the book's thesis goes: "the pot knows" when it's done cooking, so you don't have to), fragrant with garlic and ginger, full of tender nuggets of chicken, and damn delicious. My only addition was to drizzle the whole thing with Sriracha hot sauce, which I recommend if you need a little spice like me.
- 1 cube chicken bouillon
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 1/2 cups jasmine or basmati rice
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 to 3 cups cut vegetables such as bell pepper, broccoli, carrots, etc.
Dissolve the bouillon cube in the water and combine rice in the rice cooker with the oils, salt, garlic, and ginger. Stir well, then place the chicken and vegetables on top. Turn on the rice cooker and allow it to cook until finished. (This recipe could also be prepared in a medium saucepan with a lid: proceed by bringing to a boil and simmering over low heat until the rice is cooked.)
Once ready, stir the ingredients well to coat the rice with oil and serve with Sriracha or other hot sauce, if desired.