Baked Chicken and Shiitake Mushroom Rice

Today was one of those days cloaked in grey and drenched by a steady rain.  A cozy baked chicken and rice dish seemed appropriate.  I decided to use the paella pan instead of the clay pot just to try something different.  

1 whole chicken, cut into 10 pieces (breasts cut in half to make the 10 pieces), or whatever chicken pieces you want, just drumsticks, thighs, breasts or combo thereof

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, finely minced

2 cups fresh shiitake mushrooms, cut in half if larger
2 green onions, sliced diagonally
2 cups short grain rice
4 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 375f
Generously salt and pepper the chicken on both sides.  
Heat the pan over medium high heat.  You don't necessarily have to use a paella pan.  A regular skillet would work as well.
Add 2 tablespoons of grape seed oil to the pan.  Fry the chicken pieces, in batches if necessary, not to crowd the pan.  Fry until golden brown.  The chicken should be just par-cooked. 
Remove the chicken to a dish and set aside.  
Remove all but 2 tablespoons of oil from the pan.  Add the ginger and garlic and fry until fragrant, then add the mushrooms.  Continue to fry until mushrooms just start to soften, then add the rice and green onions.  Toss to incorporate the rice.  
Add the chicken stock and using a spatula, scrape up any browned bits that might be stuck to the bottom of the pan.  Taste the stock for seasoning and add salt and pepper as desired.  Simmer the rice for 5 minutes.
Return the chicken to the pan and lay just on top of the rice.
Place the pan into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender and liquid is evaporated.  Cozy and satisfying.


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