Red Rice Pilaf
A nutty and beautiful alternative to traditional rice pilaf
- Servings: 6.
- 1 cup Bhutanese red rice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup finely minced yellow onion or shallots
- Fresh thyme (2 small or one large sprig)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock (homemade or boxed, not from a bouillon cube) at room temperature or warmed
- Salt and pepper
- Rinse the rice in cold water. Drain completely, shaking off any excess water.
- Using a large (about 3 qt.) saucepan or a sauté pan that has a cover, melt the butter over medium heat until the foam subsides.
- Add the chopped onion or shallot and cook until soft and transparent, about 1 to 2 minutes; lower the heat so that it won't brown.
- Add the rice and stir to coat with the melted butter and combine with the cooked onions/shallots; depending on how salty your stock is, add about a 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- Cook over a medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon. Your goal is cook the rice for 1 or 2 minutes, not to toast it but instead to have the hot butter adhere to the surface of the grains. You'll know when it's at this point because the rice will begin to sound dry and scratchy as you stir it.
- Add the warm stock, thyme sprigs and bay leaf.
- Cover and gently simmer on a low flame for about 20 minutes.
- It's done when all the stock is absorbed and the grains of rice are tender.
- Fluff the grains with a fork, remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed.
This pilaf can be made ahead of time and reheated just before serving. Depending on how long in advance it was cooked, you may want to add a tablespoon of butter as it's reheated to bring a gloss back to the grains of rice.