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Brown Rice Paella

Tips for short-grained brown rice in an open "paella" style? Converting the technique...

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Tips for short-grained brown rice in an open "paella" style? Converting the technique...

nasv | Feb 6, 2010 09:58 AM

Hi everyone... I love my short-grained brown rice and can comfortably cook it to my liking in a traditional covered-pan way, and (with enough elbow grease), I'm able to make some enjoyable risottos as well.

I'm a fanatic of Spanish cuisine of which there are many open-cooked (uncovered) styles of rice dishes including paellas. These rice dishes typically call for short-grained rice like Bomba and Arborio, but I want to try to convert some of these into brown rice editions... I have a few questions for some tips.

Typically (not always) in these dishes, proteins/vegetables are browned in the cooking vessel and a sofrito (oil, garlic, tomatoes) are created. The rice is then added and mixed with the ingredients, and then the broth is poured in to facilitate the cooking of the rice, and voila! you have some variation of a rice dish that is cooked with it's additional ingredients.

With brown rice, obviously the cooking time will be longer, but I have a question about ways to execute this... I'm primarily worried about over-cooking the added ingredients that would accompany the rice dish (like browned chicken or vegetables):

-- Should I even worry about over-cooking the other ingredients with the doubled cooking time since it's essentially a braise?
-- Should I maybe pre-cook the brown rice partially in a covered sauce pan, and then when it has about 20 minutes left, add the partially cooked rice to finish with the rest of the ingredients in the open vessel?
-- With the longer cooking time, there's a greater chance for the broth to evaporate, should I just add more as needed? Or maybe start with more broth to take into account some of the evaporation?
-- To avoid evaporation, should I just try to cover the vessel?

Thanks in advance, I'm open to more tips here as well... loving brown rice!
-Nico

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