So I had this package of chicken thighs. I was feeling lazy and kinda wanted to do a one-pan dinner, sort of a cacciatore-type thing maybe, but not bake them. I didn’t even want to do a separate pasta pot. I wondered if there was a way to cook ’em in the crockpot or rice cooker.
Of course, the day slipped away and the slow-cooking method got abandoned. I never really found a good recipe I wanted to try, but I did find one that included rice with veggies cooked with a single thigh on top. Why not all the thighs?
I also thought that claypot cooking, an Asian method of baking food in a moistened, sealed earthernware pot to steam the meat and veggies, sounded an awful lot like a rice cooker. So I went ahead and marinated the thighs in some water, black bean sauce, and sesame oil for about an hour, then threw the whole thing in with rice, water, chopped red bell pepper and onion, some more sesame oil and soy sauce, a few cloves of garlic and a chunk of grated ginger, and set the whole thing into the rice cycle.
It was fantastic! The meat came out juicy and flavorful, and the rice was almost like fried rice (but not so oily). Even the teen who hates rice ate some. So, two lessons: 1) you can cook chicken just fine in the rice cooker, and 2) go ahead and experiment if you think it sounds good, even if you can’t find a specific recipe!
(Hee… now you are all gonna show me the Big Giant Rice Cooker website I missed that explains this in detail, right?)