Oven Baked Rice with any cuts of Chicken or Pork
First you need a large cooking pot that is suitable to use on top of the hob as well as in the oven.
(I have a large, very heavy black wrought iron oval pot which works well for me.)
1Cup or 8oz of Basmati Rice (I buy Basmati rice from Lidl, its excellent quality & cheap too; otherwise I buy Tilda Basmati Rice from Asda or Sains etc…)
3 Medium Sized Onions (Red, White or a bunch of Spring Onions & inc. green tops)
2 Organic Chicken Stock Cubes (Asda – cost appox 70p for a pack – 6 cubes per pack)
1 and a ½ Cups or 400ml Boiled Water
1) First place 1 Cup or 8 oz of Basmati rice in a sieve. Wash under a fast running tap with cold water until all the starch is removed and the water runs clear. Leave rice in sieve by the side of sink and allow drain and dry.
2) Meanwhile, peel and finely chop onions.
3) Boil the kettle. Dissolve 2 Organic Chicken Stock Cubes in 1 and ½ cups or 400ml of boiled water and place to one side.
4) Preheat oven. Fan assisted oven temp165 degrees. Ordinary ovens approx 180 degrees.
5) In your large pot heat up a few tablespoons of sunflower or vegetable oil. Flash fry meat pieces. Whilst meat fiercely fry’s away, season generously with salt & black pepper. Fry until it’s a nice brown colour.
6) With your pot remaining on the hob heat, remove meat from pan and place to one side to rest. (I usually put it on the lid of cooking pot.)
7) Lower the heat on the hob. Add more oil, enough to coat & fry the onions. Season the frying onions generously with more salt then black pepper.
8) Once onions are semi cooked, add all the drained rice, stirring the onions and rice together. Fry the mixture for a few minutes. You might need to add a bit more oil in order to ensure you’ve coated the rice grains in oil.
9) Stirring occasionally. The brown colour from the previously fried meat will add to the flavour of the onions and rice.
10) Once onions appear translucent, lower heat, arrange rice & onions evenly over the bottom of the pot, with pot remaining on the heat.
11) Then immediately but very gently pour over the readymade chicken stock trying not to disturb rice and onion mix too much. You’ll see the stock bubble away instantly.
12) ONCE YOU’VE ADDED CHICKEN STOCK TO THE RICE & ONION DO NOT STIR AGAIN! The next time it needs to be stirred is after it’s cooked for 1 hour in the oven.
13) Next, lay browned meat cuts on top of the rice, onions and stock, making sure the meat is evenly spaced out across rice mixture. You should be able to see areas of rice still. Make sure not all of the rice is covered and is able to let out some steam.
14) Next, place lid onto pot. Put covered pot into preheated oven. Fan assisted oven temp165 degrees. Ordinary ovens approx 180 degrees.
15) Leave to bake in the oven for 1 hour. During this hour do not remove lid from pot, nor remove pot from oven.
16) After 1 hour, remove pot from oven.
17) Open lid, remove each piece of meat and place to one side.
18) Using a large spoon, scrape off all the rice that’s stuck to the edges of your pot. These bits which are stuck to the pot should be browned & slightly crispy. These crispy bits add to the flavour of the rice. Thoroughly mix all the fluffy soft rice and crispy rice bits together.
IN THE EVENT OF THE RICE BEING TOO MOIST AFTER BAKING FOR 1 HOUR…….
If after you’ve thoroughly scraped off stuck rice and stirred together the soft and crispier bits of rice and you think the rice is still too wet or mushy in texture, just return the cooking pot to heated oven, increasing the oven temp if you like. Return pot without the lid, so the rice can let off steam and dry out a bit.
After a few attempts of cooking this dish, you’ll adjust the measurements to suit your cooking pot and oven. You’ll get a feel for the measurements required that best suit your oven and cooking pot etc…. It took me several attempts to get the quantities and oven temperatures just right, so don’t despair if it’s not perfect the first time, second or third time, one day you’ll surprise yourself and get it spot on. The lid of my iron pot (which you can view in video of me cooking this dish) isn’t one that seals 100%, it’s an extremely loose fit. This fact may be worth you taking into consideration. Alternatively you could just place the pot lid very loosely on top of the pot. This way water can evaporate, ensuring the rice doesn’t become too mushy.
If anyone tries this, please let me know how you get on, I’d love to hear how my culinary inventions work for others and their palette’s. Let me know all your thoughts on the subject; tell me how it tasted to you etc… And were my instructions easy to follow?