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Steamed Chicken

by Chef Michel Nischan

Steamed Chicken

Prepared using a rice cooker and served with cabbage and garden vegetables

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Rinse the rice in a fine strainer and add to the rice cooker. Fill the cooker with nicely seasoned chicken stock to a level just above the number 2 mark. Set aside an extra 1/2 cup of stock for later. Turn the cooker on. The rice should take about a half hour to 40 minutes to cook. Set a timer for 30 minutes so you don't forget to add the rest of the ingredients. Now you can do the rest...
  2. Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise, then slice each breast into 1/4- to 1/2-inch slices. Arrange the slices in a dish large enough to hold the slices in a single layer without overlapping.
  3. Grate the peel off the lemon into a small non-reactive bowl (glass or plastic), being careful not to grate into the white part. Squeeze one half of the lemon into the bowl. Add the oil, salt, herb and freshly milled pepper. Mix until the ingredients are well combined.
  4. Drizzle evenly over the chicken slices and set aside to marinate.
  5. Listen carefully for the rice cooker to "click" to the warm position. Now you must work quickly!
  6. Remove the lid from the cooker and spread the white and red cabbage over the top of the rice, then sprinkle the onions over.
  7. Quickly lay the chicken over the cabbage and onions. The chicken should almost completely cover the veggies.
  8. Top the chicken with the red and yellow peppers and some more of the fresh herbs. Pour in the 1/2 cup of reserved chicken stock and cover.
  9. Turn the steamer back to the on position and set a timer for 10 minutes. When the timer goes off, all of the chicken and veggies will be perfectly cooked. Serve right from the cooker, or toss well and place in a serving bowl.

Chef Michel Nischan notes: It's not often that I recommend kitchen gadgets beyond a good knife, decent pans and a mortar and pestle. However, a rice steamer is an absolute must for cooks who love rice served in various forms. This is a gadget that allows you to cook great rice every time, no matter what type of rice you use (provided you use real rice). It's simple — you measure rice into the rice cooker with the cup that's provided with the steamer, then fill water to the mark that matches the number of cups you put in. The cooker cooks as long as there is water in the cooker. The cooking time will automatically vary according to how fast your particular rice absorbs water. If your rice absorbs water quickly, the increase in heat that results from the drying pan will turn the cooker off. If your rice absorbs water slowly, the cooker will take longer to turn off.

Another benefit I have discovered about a rice cooker is that the moist heat of hot rice is great for gently cooking things. For instance, when the rice is done, you can remove the lid and quickly add thinly sliced raw meat, veggies, herbs, etc., and the heat energy from the very hot rice will cook these ingredients in a quick 10 minutes. I love this because I can do a full meal in one cooking utensil.

I discovered this when trying to figure out how to design a couple of good meals for my daughter in college. Instead of the dangerous and cumbersome hot plate, a rice cooker can provide a full healthy meal without the danger of starting a fire (remember, we're talking about teenagers in college). I found the method so easy that I always include a rice cooker dish when I entertain. Try it, you'll like it!

This segment appears in show #3109.

Recipe courtesy of Michel Nischan
© 2006 Michel Nischan

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Published August 31, 2007