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Friday, May 18, 2012

Random Food Fridays - Brown Rice Pilaf

Dinner - Teryiaki chicken thighs, sauteed greens and brown rice pilaf - YUM!

I generally don't get excited about rice. Every now and then I have some fantastic rice that makes me rethink my blase attitude towards this healthy grain. For example, Jamie's Broadway Grill - a place famous for their treatment of meats - makes a wild rice pilaf that is perfect with their expertly prepared fish dishes. Try it!

The brown rice pilaf that I made this week was delicious. Mr. Dwayne agreed that it was the best I had ever made. Pilaf is more a technique than a recipe, but this combination of ingredients play very well together. This is one of those recipes where attention to small details can make all the difference. The fresh, chopped parsley and toasted nuts must be added at the end of the cooking time. Toasting the nuts enhances their flavor and crispiness and the fresh parsley provides an enlivening hit of bright, herbal flavor. If these ingredients were cooked for 50 minutes along with the rice, they would be ruined.

The players.

Because brown rice takes about 50 minutes to cook, it is not a good weeknight choice for us, so I usually make it in advance. On Sunday night, I made this pilaf and prepped the chicken thighs in the marinade for Monday's dinner. I also had pre-washed and chopped greens stored in the fridge. (The last from my garden this season.) This was a fine meal and made for great lunches.

Brown Rice Pilaf
2 tbsp. butter
1 large shallot, diced
1 cup coarsely chopped mushrooms
black pepper
1 cup brown Basmati rice
2 cups hot water
2 tsp. organic chicken base (or two cups broth)
big hand full of chopped parsley
1/4 toasted sliced almonds

Place a medium sauce pan, with a heavy bottom, over a medium flame. Add the butter, shallots, mushrooms and a few grinds of black pepper. Saute about 5 minutes. Place the rice into a fine strainer and rinse. Drain well. Add the rice to the saucepan and toss to coat with the butter and blend with the veggies. Saute for a minute more. Dissolve the chicken base in hot water and stir into the rice. (If using unsalted broth, you may want to add about 1/2 tsp. salt at this time. The chicken base I use is plenty salty.) Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer on low for about 50 minutes. When rice is done, stir in the parsley and nuts. This makes about 6 side dish servings.


  1. Yum. That sounds so good to me right now. There's something about brown rice that I just love.