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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rice Pilaf

We arrived home from a vacation at the beach late Saturday night. I went through most of the day Sunday believing that we had ten pounds of russet potatoes in our pantry that would make a perfect baked potato complement to our roast chicken dinner (no, not even our family goes through an entire 10 pounds at one sitting). When I came to the realization that we in fact lacked potatoes, I made a double batch of this rice pilaf. We've used this recipe for the past several  years. It's a family favorite, and goes well with chicken, fish, or almost any other kind of meat. It dresses up the rice just enough to make it a standalone side dish.

I think the original recipe calls for either orzo pasta or spaghetti broken into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch lengths. Someday I will use orzo; it's prettier than broken spaghetti, but we never have it on hand. We always have spaghetti, and Jenny and Anna are well trained in the art of breaking it into tiny pieces.

Rice Pilaf
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup orzo pasta or spaghetti broken into small pieces
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup long grain rice

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan. Add the onion and saute until it is clear. Add the pasta and cook with the onions and butter on medium heat until the pasta is evenly browned. Stir in the rice and continue cooking until the grains look clear. Add the chicken broth, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to its lowest setting and continue cooking, covered, for 30 minutes or until almost all of the liquid is absorbed. Place two paper towels beneath the lid and let the rice cook on low heat for another 15 minutes.

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