I think that nowadays there are so many kitchen gadgets and so many appliances out there that it might be nice to have one that can do a few things instead of just the one thing it was made for, don’t you think? I always thought I was the Queen of appliances when finding uses for them aside from what they were made to do. I had seen articles about using a crock pot to do rice but didn’t think it could possibly work.
When I was packing to move I decided to pack up things that I knew I wouldn’t be using right away and one of them was my family size rice cooker. (I can almost hear Grams laughing at me because back in her day there was no such thing,) Now that I have been unpacking guess what I can’t find…the power cord to the darn thing.
Soon it’s getting on dinner time and I am wondering what to do since I don’t want to eat noodles again. I’m thinking of rice but if there is one thing I will admit to hating to have to do in the kitchen, its cooking rice in a pot on the stove. It almost never comes out right. At least for me. My teenage daughter however seems to have that knack that I lack and can make really good rice. Me? I will stick to the rice cooker.
I decided to try the crockpot (or slow cooker to my American friends) to cook the rice in, everyone says that it comes out perfect and I liked the idea of having some extra time to make a salad while waiting for the rice to cook. Apparently you can cook whole meals that contain rice in the crockpot and have perfection as well. Sounds to good to be true right? I decided to put it to the test.
I found a few recipes and went to work using both brown and white and basmati rice. The one that came out the best and that was simple is this one:
Spray the sides and bottom of your slow cooker with vegetable oil spray to keep the rice from sticking as it cooks. It likes to stick on the bottom near the walls of the ceramic liner so make sure you get that area well too.
Add two cups of white or brown rice to your slow cooker. Brown rice takes longer to cook.
Cut 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp. of butter or margarine into small pieces and arrange it over the rice. Pour in 3 1/3 cups of broth if you are cooking white rice and 3 2/3 cups of the broth for brown rice. I used plain water for mine. I also added a sprinkle of salt since I used water only.
Cover your slow cooker and set the heat setting to high.
Cook white rice for two hours and brown rice for three hours.
Gently stir the rice once during cooking time. Taste test a spoonful of the rice and cook an additional 15 to 20 minutes, if necessary. A two-quart or three-quart slow cooker is a good size for cooking rice as a side dish. Cooked rice will stay warm in your slow cooker for up to two hours after you turn off the heat.
Things You’ll Need
- Vegetable oil spray
- Unsalted butter or low fat margarine
- 3 1/3 cups to 3 2/3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- Stir spoon
- 1 can of low-sodium cream of mushroom soup
- 1 can of low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 can of low-sodium celery soup
- 1 soup can full of skim milk or water
- 1 envelope of low sodium onion soup mix
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/4 tsp. to 1/2 tsp. of paprika
Cook a Complete Meal
Add and stir to combine the soups, skim milk or water, 1 tbsp. of dry onion soup mix and 4 tbsp. of unsalted butter or low-fat margarine in a saucepan. Heat the mixture on a stove top over medium heat, stirring once every minute, until the butter or margarine melts.
Spray the sides and bottom of your slow cooker with vegetable oil spray.
Add 1 1/2 cups of white or brown rice and 2/3 of the soup mixture to your slow cooker. Stir for one minute to make sure the soup mixture completely coats the raw rice. Set the chicken breasts on the top the rice, and pour the remaining soup mixture on top of the chicken. Sprinkle the remaining dry onion soup mix evenly over the chicken breasts, followed by the paprika.
Cover your slow cooker and set the heat setting to low. Cook the chicken and rice for about two hours, and then remove the cover and stir. Continue cooking for an additional four to five hours without raising the cover or stirring the rice.
Taste test a spoonful of the rice. If you are cooking brown rice, add up to 30 to 60 minutes of cooking time.
Next time I need to have a total mixed meal I am going to use the slow cooker with the rice!