From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...If you are looking for a new side dish to serve with plain roast meat or chicken, you might want to keep this recipe in mind. It comes from Saveur magazine and I think you'll find it has the potential to be a nice addition to your table. While I'm posting the recipe exactly as it appeared in the magazine, I have several suggestions that I think will make a nice recipe into something really special. With that in mind, use the directions that come with your rice mix rather than those in the recipe below. I'd also like to suggest you make the rice base the day before you plan to serve it. I really like the way the flavors meld in this rice, but I found that cooking the rice as instructed will produce a damp and gummy product. The next time I make this, I'm going to use the same technique that I use for making fried rice. I'm confident that it will produces a more toothsome and enjoyable version of this dish. I hope you'll keep this recipe in mind. It really has the potential to be something special. Here is how the original version of this rice is made.
Mixed Rice and Dried Cherries...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Saveur magazine
2 cups wild rice blend, rinsed until water runs clear and drained
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 inner stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch pieces + 1/4 cup leaves for garnish
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/3 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley, + 1/4 cup leaves, for garnish
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1) Bring 12 cups water to a boil in a 6-qt. saucepan. Stir in rice and return to a boil. Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Strain rice in a fine-mesh sieve. Let drain for 10 seconds, and then return to pan. Cover pan and let rice steam, off heat, for 10 minutes. Transfer rice to a bowl and fluff with a fork; cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
2) Wipe saucepan clean. Add butter and melt over medium-high. Add chopped celery, garlic, and onion and cook until golden, 10–12 minutes. Add stock and cherries and simmer until liquid is evaporated, 2–3 minutes. Stir in reserved rice, chopped parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper, and transfer to a serving platter. Grate lemon zest over the top. Garnish with celery and parsley leaves. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.
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