I am a big fan of claypot chicken rice. However, I do not actually own a claypot or cook over a smoky charcoal fire. Okay, it’s not really claypot chicken rice because I split the grain 50/50 with quinoa. Oh, I usually use chorizo instead of Chinese sausage like lap cheong.
What it comes out as is Not Really Claypot Rice. My goal here was to create a dish that approximated some of the flavors I love in claypot rice but with a more weekday friendly preparation and using quinoa. Why quinoa? Other than the fact that it is the supposed “International Year of Quinoa,”quinoa is loaded with protein, it’s easy to digest, and it’s a whole grain. Pretty much a winner all the way around.
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pound chicken, diced (I use boneless thighs and pieces for extra flavor)
1 bunch scallions, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
Thumb sized piece of ginger, minced
4 ounces sausage (I use chorizo, but others use lap cheong or high quality salami)
10 ounces shiitake mushrooms (I use dried, but you could use fresh)
1 cup long grain rice
1 cup quinoa
4 cups chicken stock
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and corn starch. Whisk until combined. Stir in chicken, scallions, garlic, and ginger. Marinate for at least fifteen minutes, but ideally longer.
Using a Dutch oven (I use my trusty Le Creuset) heat over medium high until hot. Add sausage. When the sausage releases its fat add mushrooms. Let them cook for a few minutes without stirring and then flip over letting the mushrooms cook for another few minutes without stirring.
Add a little oil to the pot along with the rice and quinoa. Toast the rice for about a minute. Don’t brown the rice. Add some salt, marinated chicken mixture, and stock. Bring to a boil.
Take off the burner, put on the lid, and bake in the oven for 45 minutes or so. Let the pot stand for 5 minutes or so after removing from the oven. Stir the casserole well before serving because the mushrooms will have risen to the top during baking.
Serve with the garnish of your choice. My daughter loves sweet and sour, but she is five years old so take that recommendation with a grain of salt.