Help me cook rice in OJ and chicken broth without burning it.
December 24, 2010 6:16 AM   Subscribe

How do I cook my rice-based (with OJ and chicken broth) stuffing so the bottom doesn't burn?

I make stuffing with rice, cookied in chicken broth and orange juice with assorted goodies mixed in (raisins, walnuts, chopped mushrooms). The problem is if I always seem to get a crust at the bottom and sometimes the sugar in the OJ burns at the bottom of the rice cooker or pyrex bowl. Often even so, the stuffing is still too moist and not enough liquid has evaporated.

I know some people like a toasted crust of rice. I don't. ALso, I'm ok with mushy rice (in fact, I prefer it to separated grains). I've tried doing it all in the rice cooker. I've also tried cooking the rice somewhat first, mixing it all up and putting it in a pyrex bowl in the oven.

Oh, and I do more than 2:1 liquid because the mushrooms absorb a lot of liquid, too. I was thinking of maybe cooking the rice by the floaty-rice method (waaay too much water, then strain it out when it's cooked. No rice wasted stuck th the pot). And then mixing in everything else (With the chicken broth and OJ evaporated down to little liquid) and lettign the last bit evaporate/absorb on it's own (couscous style). Not sure that will work.

Any ideas?
posted by If only I had a penguin... to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This may sound sacrilegious, but have you tried making it in the microwave on low/medium power (and then when it's done maybe popping it in the oven briefly just to give it that fresh-out-of-the-oven feel)? I pretty much always make all rice-based dishes in a Pyrex bowl in the microwave because (a) I don't have a rice cooker, (b) I hate standing around keeping an eye on the stove, and (c) I cannot, CAN NOT, deal with cleaning the pot after I've cooked rice or pasta on the stovetop. I'm a kitchen lightweight. But rice in the microwave has always worked out fine and tasty for me, with no crusting or burning.

Also, if it's not a sacred family secret or something, would you MeMail me the recipe? Sounds yum.
posted by Gator at 6:55 AM on December 24, 2010

Here's an idea. Basmati and stock 1:1.5 (or just a bit more to account for the raisins, nuts and other bits). Bring to the boil, add orange or mandarin zest (not juice), put lid on, turn heat as low as possible, and cook for 12 minutes.

You might still get a little bit of a crust, but it shouldn't be burnt. If you have a crust, scoop the soft rice off the crust and use it. To get rid of a crust, soak the pot for an hour or so, and the crust will come out easily.

(As a minor aside, I think you're mushrooms will actually putting water out, not soaking it up. The raisins and nuts will be the guilty culprits on that front).
posted by Ahab at 7:22 AM on December 24, 2010

your not you're.

Another thing. The crust that forms in absorption method rice cooked in stock is often a function of the fat in the stock. The rice at the bottom ends up frying in a little bit of oil as the last of the water is absorbed. So using a really really well skimmed stock should help.
posted by Ahab at 7:27 AM on December 24, 2010

When I make rice I usually turn the burner off when it's only just done, with still a little liquid left in the pot, then let it sit with the lid on tight for a few minutes. The heat inside the pot makes the remaining liquid continue to steam the rice. It comes out great, no sticking to the pot.
posted by dnash at 7:52 AM on December 24, 2010

There is a magic recipe to cooking rice on the stove with minimal "stuck to the pot" after-effect.

1) Wash rice thoroughly, drain well, then add 1 and a bit cups of water for every 1 cup of rice (do 1.5 cups water per cup rice if you want soggy --- 2:1 is waaaaaaay too much).

2) Let the uncooked rice absorb the water for about 15 minutes (this is key!)

3) Stir up the water and rice a bit, and put on the stove on high heat, covered.

4) The moment the rice just starts to boil, turn a gas stove down to minimum (turn an electric stove completely off, the residual heat is enough). Very important - NEVER lift the lid during the cooking process (not even once for a little bit!)

5) Wait until you can no longer hear any bubbling sounds coming from the rice. Then take it off the burner, open it up (this releases a bunch of steam, you should hear an almost crackling sound), stir it around and cover again.

6) Let stand, covered, for at least ten minutes.

Once it's cooled down a bit, it should all come out together from the pot, no problem. And it will be fluffy and delicious.

My suggestion is that you make this fluffy, rather dry rice, and then add stock and OJ and everything to it and bake until it's the consistency you like (ie, should be pretty mushy).
posted by molecicco at 8:00 AM on December 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Have you tried cooking it in a water bath? I know that helps keep other things from burning.
posted by TooFewShoes at 8:06 AM on December 24, 2010

First of all, I want that recipe and second of all I have two potential pieces of advice:
1. Try cooking it in a paella pan. I got mine from a local grocery store, so they may not be too hard to find. I never have problems with my paella, even if there is sugar/juice in the recipe.
2. Maybe put a layer of carrots on the bottom first? As in, slice some fat carrots along the diagonal and then line the bottom of the pan with them. Or the mushrooms. Mushrooms are very watery and should provide a good barrier between the pan and the rice.
posted by madred at 10:18 AM on December 24, 2010

Steam cook it.
posted by wongcorgi at 1:34 PM on December 24, 2010

Response by poster: Ok, here's what I did, which worked great, and also the recipe, insofar as there's a recipe:

I cooked the rice floaty-rice style, a method an Indian friend taught me. I filled the rice cooker pot with water and added the rice. When the rice was cooked, I dumped the whole put of water and rice in a colandar. Voila! fluffy rice. The downside is that because I did this, I couldn't cook the rice in the broth and OJ.

I put everything else in a stock pot and topped it up with enough liquid that it was all covered so it could simmer in the liquid. Set it to boil and lowered the temperature, leaving it uncovered to let lots of water evaporate. When there was enough liquid left that there was still liquid and would still be liquid if I added the rice, but not much (i.e. it would not be wet rice, it would be rice with some liquid), I added the rice and mixed it all up. I let it sit on low heat for a while longer, stirring every now and then to avoid sticking to the pot. When it was sopping wet rice, I turned it off. By dinner time, the extra liquid was gone and it was delicious.


There's no real recipe. Sorry. However, here's a rough outline.

1. Rice. I use brown for a little extra body-ful flavour and fibre! I used 2.5 cups on this occasion.

Everything else (optional!)
2. Mushrooms. I would not skip this. It adds a lot of bulk. I used two packages of white mushrooms for 2.5 cups of rice. Chop these up very fine. They mix into the rice and essentially become indistinguishable from the rice. Doesn't really add flavour, I don't think. Just a way to sneak in some veggies.

3. Carrots. I used four. Shred them and then chop a little so you get bits instead of long strings.

4. Raisins. I like lots.

5. Walnuts, chopped.

6. Orange juiice: I used two drinking boxes for 2.5 cups of rice.

7. Chicken broth. I added about 3/4 of one of these containers.

8. Dehydrated Onion. Some. I suppose you could use real, if you like that sort of thing.

9. Chopped garlic. Some. Not too much. It's not really a garlicky dish.

10. Salt and pepper to taste. I find lots of pepper is good here.

Optional things I've sometimes added:
Dried cranberries, fresh cranberries, chopped dried apricots. All good.
Chopped red/orange/yellow peppers. ALso good, but I think I like it better without, even though I like those things.

So...Cook the rice. Cook everything else separately. Mix when it's wet. Wait.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:05 AM on December 25, 2010 [4 favorites]

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