Chicken & Egg Donburi with Braised Rainbow Carrots
So much of the time around here, comfort food starts with the butter-bread-cheese trifecta or consists of just one thing–pizza–that I forget a whole other subset of soul-satisfying noshes, those based on rice. Donburi are just that: perfect, rice-based comfort food. At restaurants, they’re hard for me to order, since there are usually other important items on the menu that take precedent, like katsu and Japanese curry. Good thing then that they’re perfect make-at-home cuisine, unlike the deep-fried katsu (a mess!) and the delicious Japanese curry (a mystery of a recipe!).
This isn’t the traditional chicken-and-egg donburi here today though, the one where you cook an omelet right in the chicken and its sauce/broth. I love that one too, but this one makes better leftovers for brown bag lunch packing. More to the point, this is a comforting and quick (despite the long recipe you’re about to read) dinner plus lunch extras that can be whipped up when you have to devote some time to a few neglected projects instead of making involved meals. Which is me, right now.
- 2 cups short grain brown rice, soaked for a couple of hours (soaking: optional)
- 5 radishes, sliced
- 2 shallots, sliced
- Apple cider vinegar
- Green parts of scallions, chopped
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 5 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2½ tablespoons white wine
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 shallot, halved
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons water
- Oil for the pan (safflower or canola)
- 6 small rainbow carrots, scrubbed and cut into planks
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the soaked brown rice. Cook 35 minutes, or until tender, then drain into a fine-mesh sieve and return to the pot (off the heat). Cover the pot and set the rice aside to steam while you get everything else ready.
- Place the chicken in a pot that has a lid. Add the soy sauce, wine, brown sugar and a shallot, halved, and stir to mix everything together. Pour in enough water to just cover the meat, around 1½ cups, but it'll depend on the size of your pan. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked. Taste for salt, adding a little if you need. Then shred or chop the chicken and return it to the sauce.
- Pickle the radishes: place the radish and shallot slices in small bowl or jar. Cover with vinegar and a big pinch of salt. Set aside for 30 minutes, or overnight in the fridge.
- Make the omelets: heat a small nonstick skillet over very high heat for 5 minutes. Beat together the eggs, sugar, soy sauce, salt, and water. Add about 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan. Pour in the omelet and turn the heat to very low. Tilt the pan to spread the egg all over, then use a spatula to pull egg from the outside back to the center, tilting the pan to get more raw egg in the place you just pulled from. When the egg is cooked to your liking, slide it out of the pan onto a cutting board, folding it over itself twice as you go. When cool, cut into strips.
- Make the carrots: heat a large skillet with a lid over high heat for 5 minutes. Add the coconut oil, the carrots, and a pinch of salt. Toss to coat the veggies with the oil, then lower the heat to medium, cover the pan, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are browned and tender.
- To make each bowl, scoop out a cup of rice. Pile on a quarter each of the braised carrots, the chicken, the radishes and shallots (drained; reserve the extra vinegar for making salad dressings), and egg slices on each. Spoon more sauce over the bowls, then sprinkle with the green parts of the scallions and the sesame seeds