This is one of the ways I like to use the chicken I cook when I make stock. It’s so simple to put together – really only 30 minutes of active time and 30 minutes to finish baking. And, it’s one of Joe’s favorites. He even likes it after it’s been frozen and reheated which says a lot for a man who doesn’t eat leftovers.
Naturally gluten-free and sugar-free, this is a great recipe for anyone new the diet. I do use heavy cream, though I don’t think that it’s excessive as it serves so 6 to 8, maybe more. Split a cup of cream eight ways and you end up with two tablespoons each – most people use more than that in one cup of coffee. I like to serve this with a big green salad and steamed or roasted veggies. If you don’t eat dairy, I’m sure coconut milk would work although I haven’t tried it.
I use brown rice because it’s so much healthier than white rice, but if you want to use white rice there’s no need to bake it first for 30 minutes. Brown rice takes longer to cook. Cremini mushrooms (a.k.a. Baby Bellas) have a much meatier flavor than regular white mushrooms, which is why I like them. I always have them on hand and use them in everything from cooking to salads.
I adapted this from Rachel Ray’s magazine, which I thought I didn’t like. I happen to get more magazines than any one person could ever read. I’m sure I shoved her magazines to the bottom of my ever-growing piles and didn’t look at it until recently. The editor’s son is gluten intolerant and is very sensitive to that in her recipes. Her magazine is brimming with incredible food ideas that I’ve been able to easily adapt to my kitchen. I’ve been converted and am now an official Rachel Ray fan.
What are some of your families favorites? Let’s talk about it.
Serves: 6 - 8 servings
- 2⅓ cups good chicken stock
- 1 ½ cups brown rice
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 large leeks
- 12 ounces cremini (Baby Bella) mushrooms, sliced thickly
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- meat from one whole chicken, shredded in large chunks
- 1 cup homemade chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 cup heavy cream, divided
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place chicken stock in a microwave proof container and bring to a boil. Alternatively, put it in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Rinse brown rice and then spread in the bottom of a 3 quart casserole dish. Pour boiling stock on top of rice and cover tightly with a double layer of aluminum foil. Place casserole on a large baking sheet and put into preheated oven for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut leeks in half and then slice them ¼ inch thick. Place in a large bowl, fill with water, swirl with your hand several times and then let them rest. Any dirt will fall to the bottom of the bowl. Then, using your hands, move leeks to a colander or salad spinner to drain.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté until soft, about 5 – 8 minutes. Add mushrooms and salt. Sauté for another 8 minutes or until mushrooms are soft but not overcooked. Stir in chicken and chicken broth, bring to a low simmer and cook for several minutes.
- Put cornstarch in a small bowl, add 1 tablespoon of cream and mix to make a slurry. Set aside. Add remaining cream and ground white pepper to chicken mixture and cook for several minutes while stirring. Add slurry and cook for another 3 or 5 minutes until it thickens. Remove from heat.
- Once rice has baked for 30 minutes, remove from oven and spoon chicken mix evenly over the top. Cover tightly again (use towels to avoid burns) and return to the oven for another 25 to 30 minutes until liquid has been absorbed and it’s bubbly around the edges.
- Remove foil, add parmesan cheese, and return to the oven until cheese melts and has browned in places.