"David Kinch once said that my meals aren't complete without rice. He's probably right," says Pim Techamuanvivit, who cooks her rice in a clay pot from her native Thailand. Her earthy baked rice, with mushrooms and chunks of the spicy lamb sausage merguez, is a terrific side dish for the lamb chops, but it's also hearty enough to eat on its own.
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2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups Japanese short-grain rice (about 11 ounces)
3 cups mushroom broth, chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 pound wild mushrooms, such as oyster, thickly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound merguez, casings removed
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the rice and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until lightly toasted and well coated with oil, about 3 minutes. Add the mushroom broth and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over very low heat until the rice is tender and all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and tender, about 8 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate.
Add the merguez to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, breaking up the sausage with a spoon, until cooked through and lightly browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Return the mushrooms to the skillet and cook for 1 minute. Stir the merguez and mushrooms into the rice.
Bake the rice, covered, in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven and let stand for about 10 minutes; don't remove the lid. Fluff the rice with a spoon and serve.
The rice can be made through Step 3 and refrigerated overnight. Return to room temperature before proceeding.
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