Black Rice Chicken Congee Bowl

Heyyyyyyyyyy. Would love to breeze through the “it’s been a whiles” so….I am going to. Work/travel/you’ve heard it all before. I am now back and ready to share with you the current obsession in my household (aka 1-bedroom apartment stupid San Francisco housing market), which is grain bowls. My husband in particular is kind of a nut for them, and since getting him excited about cooking is a long-term goal, I am happy to oblige in their creation.

We got a brilliant cookbook called, brace yourselves, The Grain Bowl. I believe it is British, because there are all sorts of measurements/ingredients that seem a tad off to me, but for the most part you can get through the recipes with minimal substitution.

Black rice has long been a favorite grain of mine. Unlike its stick-like cousin wild rice, black rice is silky and smooth and in general a real fucking joy to eat. Since I will never be upset about anything made with ginger/scallions/ soy sauce, this bowl was very much pleasing to me.

Things that are currently NOT pleasing to me: people who accuse protestors of playing victim, the inability to acknowledge privilege and use it as a force for good, people asking me if I’m “pregnant yet,” and also kimchi farts. Til next time! xoxo

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Black Rice Chicken Congee
from The Grain Bowl by Nik Williamson

Serves 2
Prep: 5 min
Cooking: 50 min

2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp olive oil, plus extra for frying
2 1/2 cups (600ml) chicken broth
1/2 cup (100g) black rice
2 large boneless chicken thighs
all-purpose flour, for dusting
2 tbsp salted peanuts or cashews, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 scallions, coarsely chopped
salt and black pepper
(i also added some spicy kimchi on top for good measure)

Put the garlic, ginger, and olive oil into a mortar and use a pestle (or small food processor) to grind them until you have a paste

Put 2 cups (475 ml) of the broth into a medium pan and bring to a simmer. Add the black rice and allow to simmer, covered over low heat for 30 minutes, or until almost all the broth has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside.

Sprinkle the chicken with a little flour. Heat a small skillet over high heat, add a little olive oil, then the chicken thighs. Do not move the thighs or shake the pan; this allows caramelization to take place.

Turn the thighs after a couple of minutes. Reduce the heat a little and cook for another few minutes. Once cooked all the way through, remove the chicken thighs from the heat and shred the meat on a clean cutting board.

Add the remaining 1/2 cup (120 ml) broth to the black rice along with the garlic-ginger paste, and stir over love heat for 10 minutes.

Divide the rice between 2 bowls and top with the chicken, nuts, soy sauce, and scallions. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve. (this is also where you’d add your kimchi)

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