I wish I knew how many things you can make in a rice cooker when I was living in the dorms in college. All you need is an electrical outlet and you can sauté vegetables, make breakfast porridge, cakes, breads, risotto, and frittatas. Consider your mind blown! That is if you didn’t already know this.
I love using my rice cooker, because I can set it and forget it as it automatically switches to “warm” when it is done. Mine is particularly awesome because it has a delay timer, so I can set it up with rice and water in the morning and it will be ready and warm when I get home at 6:00 pm. Lately, I have been using my rice cooker to make more exciting things like Mexican rice and this delicious Spanish style Paella inspired by Jenna at Eat, Live, Run.
Rice Cooker Paella
Prep time: 40 minutes | Cook time: 50-60 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons oregano
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 bay leaf
1-14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
3 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 ½ cups short grain brown rice
1 pound chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
½ pound bulk chorizo sausage
1-14.5 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
½ cup frozen peas
½ cup sliced black olives
Frank’s hot sauce (optional)
Freshly chopped parsley (optional)
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in rice cooker on “cook”, “sauté then cook”, or other appropriate setting for your rice cooker. Add onion and bell peppers, and sauté until soft; about 7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant; 30-60 seconds. Stir in smoke paprika, oregano, salt, crushed red pepper, black pepper, and bay leaf. Add diced tomatoes, broth, and rice; stir to combine. Close lid on rice cooker and set on appropriate setting to cook rice for at least the length of time listed on the package of rice you used.
- About 10 minutes before the rice is finished, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken thighs and sausage and cook until well browned and cooked through; about 8-10 minutes. Stir chicken and sausage into rice cooker.
- Add artichoke hearts, peas, and black olives. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as desired.
- Serve topped with hot sauce and freshly chopped parsley if desired.
A couple notes about the recipe…the smoked paprika is KEY for a smoky flavor. Shrimp would also be great in this dish, but we always get a little weirded out by leftover shrimp. You could always omit the meat if you would like too.
Do you have a rice cooker? If so, what is your favorite use for it?