The CSA casserole

I had pointy-head cabbage and little carrots left from the weekly CSA delivery, and a hankering to try to recreate the flavors of a Middle Eastern dish I once ate. Last night, I put them into a casserole that came out pretty good, although it wasn’t quite what I’d had before.

In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish: Half of the cabbage, shredded coarsely with a knife (the food processor shredded it too finely); chunks of carrots, a sliced onion, some garlic. Then, about 1 1/2 cups of brown rice and four or five boneless chicken thighs, cut into chunks. I poured over it all about two cans of low-sodium chicken broth and 3/4 of a cup of apple juice. I sprinkled on top a little cinnamon and about a teaspoon of ground sumac berries. Sumac is a Turkish spice that has a fruity sweet-sour flavor. A few squirts of lemon juice and a little more cinnamon would probably make a good substitute. I covered the pan with foil and baked it at 375 degrees for about an hour and 15 minutes, until the rice was cooked and most of the liquid was gone.

In retrospect, sauteing the onion and garlic first in olive oil would have brought more flavor to the casserole, but I was in a throw-it-together mood. And the aroma while it baked – mmmm. I love food that smells good AND tastes good. Try it, and let me know what you think.