Monday, April 8, 2013

Wild Rice Pilaf

A rockin' side dish is one of my favorite dinner time components. Yummy mashed or roasted potatoes seem to be a staple around our table. But more recently this wild rice pilaf has been a regular. It's easy to make and has simple yet delicious flavors. It goes great with just about anything. My favorite things to serve it with is this chicken cordon bleu and these tasty baked chicken breasts. The rice is full of earthy flavor thanks to the mushrooms, and is brightened up with some fresh herbs. It 's all really great. However if mushrooms aren't your thing simply omit them. This rice is quite versatile and most importantly very delicious. 

Wild Rice Pilaf
2 ribs celery, chopped small
1/2 shallot, minced
1 cup mushrooms, halved and sliced
2 tbsp butter
1 cup wild rice blend(such as this one, I can usually find it at Costco)
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

In a wide and shallow pot, melt butter. Saute shallot, celery and mushrooms in butter over medium - high heat until they become fragrant and tender. Add rice and toast until pieces begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add chicken broth, thyme and about a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper each. Cover pot with a tight fitting lid and bring to a boil. Once the mixture has boiled lower heat to a simmer and allow the rice to cook for about 40 minutes, if the rice remains crunchy let it go longer. Just before serving season with more salt and pepper and fresh parsley, tasting to adjust.

*Button or cremini mushrooms work well in this, but I prefer whatever is on sale, and if that's neither I usually choose cremini because of it's mild flavor and small size.

* If you didn't want to use a shallot, you could mince up half of a small yellow onion if that's what you have on hand.

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