Carolina Gold Rice Porridge, Braised Chicken, Tomato, Peach, Spring Herbs
Recipe by Jarrett Stieber, Executive Chef/Owner, Little Bear
Photo by Kyle Ripley, Haigwood Studios
Yield: 4 servings
1 pound bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
kosher salt to taste
granulated sugar to taste
1 head garlic
1 cup Carolina Gold Rice (or any long grain variety such as jasmine or Calrose)
1 tablespoon sesame oil, plus a little extra
1 teaspoon rice vinegar, plus a little extra
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 small peaches
2 sprigs each parsley, cilantro, dill, and basil (or any bright spring herbs)
1/2 bunch scallions
1/2 cup red chili hot sauce, preferably homemade
1 teaspoon benne seeds (may substitute sesame)
flake salt for finishing (such as Maldon or Jacobsen)
Heat oven to 285 degrees. Season chicken thighs liberally with kosher salt and sugar, with about a 2 to 1 salt to sugar ratio. Place chicken in an oven-safe roasting dish and cover halfway with water. Cut garlic head in half horizontally and add to braising liquid. Cook thighs in oven for 1 hour 45 minutes.
When chicken is done, remove thighs from liquid and allow to cool at room temperature. Strain braising liquid, reserving 1 quart for rice cooking liquid.
While chicken cools, pick leaves from all herbs, mix them together (leave them whole) and reserve. Cut cherry tomatoes in half, dice peaches into bite size pieces and cut scallions into thin rounds. In a mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, peaches and scallions and reserve.
In a pot over medium-high heat, combine reserved quart braising liquid, 1 tablespoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon rice vinegar. Bring liquid to a boil. Meanwhile, remove chicken thigh meat from bone, shred and add to bowl with tomatoes, peaches and scallions. Toss mixture with a little extra sesame oil and rice vinegar to taste, plus a pinch of kosher salt; taste and adjust seasoning with more salt as needed.
Once liquid comes to a boil, add rice to pot while whisking. Continuing whisking rice until liquid boils again then reduce heat to low. Cook porridge about 15 to 20 minutes, whisking often to prevent scorching, until porridge is thick and starchy, and rice is tender. If porridge is too thick, add more water (it should be loose like risotto but not watery). Taste porridge and adjust seasoning with salt, sugar or vinegar as needed.
To assemble, add large spoonful of porridge to bottom of each shallow bowl. Place marinated tomato, chicken and peach salad on top of porridge. Drizzle hot sauce around perimeter of porridge and over salad. Garnish generously with herb mixture and benne seeds (or any dry seasoning of your liking). Finish with a sprinkle of nice flake salt such as Maldon or Jacobsen and enjoy!
Flavors pairing suggestion: Château D’esclans Whispering Angel
71 Georgia Avenue S.E.