It’s Wednesday, referred to in primitive cultures as “Hump Day.” And by primitive cultures, I mean the jocks and the cheerleaders.
What’s that? Just when you were least excited by it, it’s time for another I Require Sustenance!
Today’s recipe comes from a friend at work, who got it from another friend at work. It’s not particularly a work-related recipe, but it is something I don’t usually eat. Which is rice.
It’s not that I don’t like rice– it’s some kind of grain right? Not a vegetable? I’m not a big fan of vegetables, but I’m actually pretty fond of grains, so I figured rice was right up my alley, and I’d try making something new.
Now, I say that the recipe came from my friend at work, but I really only say that to be nice, because I completely murdered the recipe that I was given. I mean I didn’t use much of the things on it, and I threw in quite a few things that weren’t on it, just to make it to my liking. The items in parentheses are the ones that I didn’t use, and the items in italics are the ones that I threw in on my own:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups long grain rice
1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
(2 cups chopped onions)
(1 cup finely chopped carrots)
4 cloves minced garlic
(2 cans (14.5 oz) whole tomatoes and juice, chopped)
1 can tomato sauce
(2 cans (4 oz) drained chopped green chiles)
(1/2 teaspoon cumin)
1 tablespoon chili seasoning
2 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
As you can see, this is a pretty complicated recipe. Probably the most complicated so far. Sure, the lasagna was tough, but it was pretty repetitive once you got the hang of it.
The main thing I added was the chicken. I think the copy of the recipe that she gave me was from some sort of vegetarian magazine or something, with all those carrots and chiles and junk. I decided this stuff needed meat, so I cut up a couple chicken breasts, and sauteed them with the oil in a big skillet before I started cooking anything.
I had already added oil for the chicken, so I pushed the chicken to one side of the skillet and added the rice in. At this point, the recipe says to stir the rice until it browns, but it seems to me that you have to boil or steam rice or something first. I’m not a rice expert, but all my stirring did was make dry rice fall out of the skillet everywhere. I think you might be able to skip this step.
Next up is adding the onions and carrots. You’re supposed to let them sit in the rice until they soften, so you can do that if you have them. I didn’t, so I didn’t.
After the veggies are in and cooked, mix in the garlic, and then add tomatoes, chiles, cumin, chicken broth, salt and pepper. I’m not a big fan of chunky tomatoes, so I just put in a can of tomato sauce, and I didn’t have any cumin, so I just used an old packet of chili powder that I had sitting around. It probably works better with cumin, but the chili powder worked fine, too. I’ll have to try with cumin next time.
After you’ve added in the flavor and the sauce, you’re going to get a big skillet full of liquid and a bunch of rice on the bottom. It’s kind of like Hamburger Helper, if you remember that stuff at all. Man, I loved Hamburger Helper. My dad was never the best cook, but he could make a mean Hamburger Helper, and that stuff was totally my dinner so many times during elementary school. Memories, man. Memories.
But I digress. Bring the liquid up to a boil, stir it all around a bit, and then lower the heat and cover. Let it all simmer for 20-25 minutes, and the rice will absorb all the liquid and become all tender and flavory. Great stuff. You lift off the lid, and the simmering scents from the rice flow out and fill your kitchen. Eat. Enjoy.
I Require Sustenance runs every Wednesday on mikeschramm.com. Want to suggest a recipe or be a guest chef next week? I didn’t think so. No one has. I’m not whining or anything, I’m just stating a fact. What was that face for? Look, if it wasn’t true I wouldn’t say it, okay? Fine. Let’s just forget about it. What? No, I don’t care what you watch. Just leave me alone, OK? It’s always something with you.
Posted on Wednesday, January 19th, 2005 at 1:45 am. Filed under general.