Baked Brown Rice and Chicken

My co-worker, Joe, invited Aaron and I to have lunch at his house on Saturday. His sister was visiting this weekend and just happens to be a photographer. She gave me some helpful tips and we had a great time talking! I'm still taking pictures of EVERYTHING, just for practice. I think it's driving Aaron crazy, but he is a good sport :) Sometimes I wish I had a baby as a subject instead of chicken broth though...
Chicken and rice is one of those comfort food dishes that makes me feel so warm and happy inside. Ah :) I found a really yummy recipe for brown rice pilaf, and since we had some extra chicken I decided to add it. I've seen a lot of chicken and rice recipes, but this is one that we both enjoy and I'm going to stick with it. Also, if you haven't tried this chicken broth from Costco, you must try it. It tastes great and it's pretty cheap compared to other broths out there. 

Basic Baked Brown Rice with Chicken
Adapted from Simple Bites
To help brown rice cook quickly and more evenly, I soak the rice in water along with 1 Tbsp of vinegar per cup of rice for 6-8 hours before cooking. I've found that my brown rice turns out much better this way.

1 Tablespoon butter or ghee
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon spices of your choice (I used 1/2 paprika, 1/4 cumin and 1/4 turmeric)
Chicken (the amount and cut of chicken totally depends on your taste!)
1 bay leaf
2 cups long grain brown rice
3-1/2 cups chicken broth
  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Rinse rice in a fine-meshed sieve and drain well.
  3. In the bottom of a French Oven, melt butter and oil together over medium heat.
  4. Add onion and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add salt, spices and bay leaf to the onion and cook for an additional minute.
  6. Add Chicken and cook through.
  7. Add rice, stir well to combine, and toast together for 2 minutes.
  8. Add the water, and bring to a boil. Stir the rice once, then cover and place in the middle of the oven.
  9. Bake for 45 minutes, then remove from oven, and let sit, covered, for an additional 10 minutes.
  10. Fluff rice with a fork and serve
Spice mixtures:
1/2 paprika, 1/4 cumin and 1/4 turmeric (my favorite)
1 Tablespoon Garam Masala with 1/4 cup chopped apricots.
1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon celery seed, 1 cup chopped celery.
1 teaspoon cumin, 1 cup canned black beans (instead of chicken)

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