Monday, January 7, 2013

Chicken with Rice Brussels Sprouts and Asparagus

Jan 06 2013

I just bought myself a new cooking toy! I have acquired quite a few over the years, some good and some bad. I have wanted a steamer to reheat pulled pork, shredded beef, brisket and pastrami. I have two Crockpots and they work pretty well for large batches. I don’t do a lot of entertaining anymore, usually I cook for 2 to 6 people and a small steamer would work well. It could also serve to cook vegetables and rice.

I have been looking at some over the past few months and have researched them. I finally bought one, an Aroma Model ARC 150 SB. It is a rice cooker, steamer and slow cooker all in one. After the first use I think I will like it.

I had some marinated chicken breast from my butcher, basil, garlic and sun dried tomatoes. I did them on my smoker and had rice, Brussels sprouts and asparagus done in my new cooker.

I decided to do two cups of rice; the estimated time was 20 to 25 minutes and 20 minutes for the veggies. I figured the chicken breasts would take 30 to 45 minutes on my smoker at 300 deg. for an IT of 160 deg. Skinless chicken is hard to keep from drying out on the smoker. It needs to be done at higher temps, so you don’t get much smoke flavor, just a kiss. Marinating or brining helps too.

I used chicken broth instead of water for the rice, and added some sliced green onions, diced green bell pepper, diced red peppers and seasoning for some flavor.

I got the chicken breasts on the smoker at 275 deg. This gives me about 300 deg. at grill level on my Traeger. I do them on a perforated stainless grill tray instead of directly on the grates. This keeps some moister under the chicken while cooking.

About 10 minutes after getting the chicken on I turned the cooker on rice mode; this would cook the rice and steam the veggies at the same time. The rice cooker goes to the keep warm mode after automatically sensing the rice is done.

The rice had been on for 25 minutes and had not gone to the keep warm mode. My chicken was about done so I turned the smoker back to 180 deg. to slow it down. Finally after 35 minutes the rice cooker went to the keep warm mode. I pulled the chicken and tented with foil while I served the veggies and rice. I had some good bread and Irish butter to go along with the meal.

The chicken was just right, moist and fork tender. The Brussels sprouts were just right but the asparagus was a little over done; we like it crispy tender. The rice was just about right, maybe a tad dry; but I was used to doing it stove top and sometimes it was too wet. It was slightly browned on the bottom but not excessive.

Overall I thought it went pretty well for my first time and with more practice I think I will like my new cooker. I know now it would be best to do just one veggie or two that have the same cook time for the doneness we like. Once I learn how long different amounts of rice takes I can add the veggies at the correct time for all to get done at once.

My new cooker

Veggies in the steamer basket

Chicken is ready on the smoker

Rice and veggies are done

My Plate

No comments:

Post a Comment