Rice Cooker Ginger Chicken and Coconut Rice

With my weekday schedule I rarely have the time or energy to cook when I get home. I prefer to get my cooking done on the weekend and reheat leftovers throughout the week. However, I have a few recipes that take almost no time to prepare and this rice cooker chicken and rice dish is one of them.

The great thing is I have most of the ingredients on hand in my pantry. With a quick stop at the market to pick up some chicken and spinach, I'm ready to go. It takes about 15 minutes to get all the ingredients prepped and once combined, the rice cooker does all the work.

For some reason when I moved out my Mom decided to give her single daughter an 8-cup rice cooker even though our family had done just fine with a 3-cup cooker. Not sure if she was hoping I'd need it for a family of my own but this rice cooker has been with me for 20+ years and is still going. Before the dish starts cooking the pot looks almost too full but, as you know, the spinach cooks down and I think a full 12-ounce bag is the right balance for the rest of the ingredients.

The main modification I made was to add dried Chinese mushrooms. I love the flavor and it doesn't really add much more prep time. To boost the mushroom flavor I don't discard the hydrating liquid but incorporate it into the dish.

I've thought about adding lup cheong (Chinese dried sausage), dried shrimp, or salted eggs. They would change flavor of the dish to be closer to  joong but would also take away the ease of this recipe. For now it works well as is but I may experiment sometime in the future.

For a weeknight meal this is a great dish. I can pull it all together as soon as I get home and by the time I'm showered and changed I have a delicious, hot dinner waiting for me.