Pumpkin, Chard and Chestnut Rice Revisited

About a year ago (it's chestnut season again) I published a recipe for Pumpkin, Chard and Chestnut Rice, which was absolutely marvelous... but I wanted to try it with brown rice. I found a great technique for cooking brown rice in Cook's Illustrated, and it came out fantastic! They recommend baking it, because the texture turns out really nice, kind of like my buckwheat recipe.

The recipe is actually pretty easy. I simply sauteed the garlic, bacon, squash, chard and chestnuts for about 10 minutes, until the bacon was browned. I used the whole chard leaves, and more of them, this time. I added the rice and cooked a few minutes more, until the grains were translucent at the edges. Then I put the whole mixture in a covered casserole with the chickpeas and vegetable stock, and baked it at 375 for 2 hours. I know this sounds like a long time, but if you think about white rice, it takes 20 minutes to cook normally and about an hour to make a risotto... brown rice takes at least 40 minutes to cook normally and this risotto-type dish takes 2 hours. So I think this is actually pretty reasonable. And believe me, it's worth it!


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