The day I made this rice dish, I commented to a few people that I had managed to become completely winded from bending over and picking up a pad of post-it notes that had fallen on the floor.
Well, if being too…err, round…to do that is a problem, then imagine what kind of problems cleaning this up poses:
You’ll notice there is pretty much nothing in this pot and that’s because as I was putting it in the oven, I managed to lose grip of it somehow and all but about 4 grains of rice flew out, all over the oven and kitchen. The lid managed to fly clear across the room. To make matters worse and the mess more difficult to clean, the original batch was actually a doubled version of the one I have posted below, because when I tried my hand at this again the next day (you didn’t think I would actually try cleaning it up and remaking it the same night, did you?), I didn’t have enough rice to make a full batch.
Since the oven had been preheated, the rice and veggies basically started to cook on the door and the bottom of the oven, so there was really no way to clean that immediately without burning myself. And this is one of those times when I remember why I’m not really a fan of hardwood floors in the kitchen. I had to start cleaning those up right away. It took forever, it exhausted me, and well, quite frankly, it pissed me off. I called Tom and asked that he pick up some food on his way home, so pub burgers & fries it was for dinner that night.
And there are *still* remnants of this mess in my oven, trapped in crevices at the edge of the door and completely under those crevices in unreachable spots. I don’t think we will have a brown-rice free oven for as long as we live in this current condo.
Thankfully, when I made this the next day everything went smoothly (except for the whole finding out I didn’t have enough rice thing). This is a nice dish to make because after you get it into the oven (the hardest part for me, apparently), you can forget about it. It cooks evenly, unlike some stove-top brown rices, and if you’re already using your oven to roast or bake a protein, it’s nice to just have both components of your meal in there for pretty much the same amount of time. We had this alongside some roasted chicken thighs, which cooked for roughly the same time since I was baking at a lower temp than normal for roast chicken.
Also, it’s quite tasty. It gets a little bit creamy and the flavor from the chicken broth and bay permeates everything. I’ll definitely be making this again and again, but just making sure I have a death grip on the pot before it goes into the oven.
Baked Brown Rice and Vegetable Pilaf
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 onion, diced
1 small to medium carrot, diced
2 celery ribs, sliced
1 cup chopped mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup brown rice
1 bay leaf
scant 1 cup chicken (or vegetable) broth
Preheat the oven to 375.
In a small or medium shallow saucepan that has a tight fitting lid (or you can use whatever you want and transfer to a small baking dish later), melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook about 2 minutes before adding the mushrooms and garlic. Cook until the vegetables start to get tender but the carrots and celery still retain some of their bite.
Add the brown rice and toast it for a minute or two, stirring everything together. Add the bay leaf, chicken broth, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover with the lid and then place in the oven for 1 hour. Let it stand a few minutes before fluffing with a fork and serving.
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