Old school rice pilaf

This easy and flavorful side is a souvenir from my youth when I thought rice only came in two varieties: Minute or pilaf.

I left the Minute Rice back in the 80’s and the pilaf seemed doomed to stay there as well until a few months ago when I resurrected it.

We’ve eaten it probably a dozen times since.

Rice pilaf
Old School Rice Pilaf

Olive oil and a couple tablespoons of butter
3-4 Angel Hair pasta nests, broken up and crumbled by hand (buy a big box and then you’ll have enough for pilaf for months)
2 cups long-grain or Basmati rice
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (plus more)
1 bay leaf

1.) Brown the crumbled pasta nests in a large pot with the olive oil and butter over medium heat for about 1 minute and then add the uncooked rice. Coat the rice and pasta with the butter and oil for a couple of minutes, toasting it by stirring constantly. Be careful not to burn the pasta–it’s super thin–but you do want it to brown.

2.) Add the broth and the bay leaf, bring to a boil, and then quickly reduce the heat to a low simmer with the lid on until the liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. (Check periodically so it doesn’t burn. You can add more liquid–water or chicken broth) if it gets too dry.

3.) Turn off the heat with the lid still on and let stand a few minutes to get the rice nice and fluffy. Remove the bay leaf and serve.

4.) Realize rice is better in 20 minutes rather than five.

©2013 Tracey Henry