I came up with this rice bowl, which combines warm, comforting ingredients with fresh, bright ones to try and find a balance between the stick-to-your-ribs food I crave at this time of year and the need to continue consuming fruits and vegetables. I love roasted Brussels sprouts, and my favorite part are the leaves that fall to the side and get wonderfully crunchy and caramelized, so I sliced the brussels sprouts thinly to encourage that effect. They combine wonderfully with the brown rice, a super simple lemon creme fraiche sauce that gets tossed with rotisserie chicken, and fresh pomegranate seeds for sweetness and crunch. It’s nothing earth-shattering in the creativity department, but it’s easy, flavorful, and nourishing, which is about as much as I can ask for in a healthy recipe at this time of year.
Crispy Brussels Sprout, Lemon Chicken, and Pomegranate Rice Bowl
- 1 1/2 c. uncooked brown rice
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 1/2 lbs. large brussels sprouts
- 3 TBS olive oil
- sea salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 c. cooked, shredded, rotisserie chicken
- 1/2 c. creme fraiche
- juice from 1/2 fresh lemon
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp minced fresh chives
- 1 c. fresh pomegranate seeds
- Rinse the rice in cold water and drain well. Place the rice in a saucepan and add 3 cups of cold water and the butter. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 35-45 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all the water and is tender. Remove from the heat and leave covered.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the stems and outer leaves from the brussels sprouts and discard. Slice the trimmed brussels sprouts into round about 1/4 inch think and place the slices on a large rimmed baking sheet. Add any leaves that have fallen off to the pan as well. Drizzle the brussels sprouts with the olive oil, then sprinkle generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and use a spatula to flip the sprouts so they are evenly coated with the mixture. Roast until golden brown and crispy on the edges, about 20-25 minutes, flipping once about halfway through.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the creme fraiche, lemon juice, black pepper, and chives until evenly combined. Season to taste with sea salt. If your rotisserie chicken is still warm, simply toss the creme fraiche sauce with the chicken to thoroughly coat. If the chicken is cold, reheat the chicken in the microwave or on the stovetop, and then toss with the sauce.
- Mix together the rice, chicken, roasted brussels sprouts, and fresh pomegranate seeds. Serve warm.