Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Wild Rice and Chorizo Pilaf

I put this together one night as a side dish for grilled whole fish and asparagus. It turned out to be so delicious that it was the highlight of the meal. It's very easy, but of course wild rice takes over an hour to cook so you have to factor that into your plan.

The work is all done at the very beginning: first brown some dried Spanish chorizo along with onion and garlic; then toast the rice in the pan for a few minutes (this builds flavor, and I swear it helps keep the grains separated rather than clumpy); and finally add the liquid and leave it alone. As with any steamed rice, that 10 minutes of resting time is important. It lets the grains absorb any remaining moisture so there's no clumping when you fluff them up.

The chorizo, by the way, must be the Spanish type, which is cured so it's ready to eat as is. The Mexican type is a fresh sausage which is totally raw. As you might have guessed, these two aren't interchangeable. Not every supermarket out there will carry Spanish chorizo, but it's worth seeking out. I get mine from a butcher. You generally use only a small amount because it packs so much flavor. I've had a piece of it in the freezer for months so I can hack off as much as I need for dishes like this one!

Wild Rice and Chorizo Pilaf
You must use Spanish chorizo, which is cured, rather than Mexican chorizo which is raw.

Serves 2 and may be doubled

Cooking spray
5 to 6-inch piece Spanish chorizo, diced
1/4 cup diced red onion
2/3 cups wild rice blend (such as Lundberg)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/8 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 cups chicken stock (such as Kitchen Basics)
Chopped parsley and a tiny squeeze of lemon for serving if desired

Coat a small saucepan with cooking spray and heat on medium. Add chorizo and cook, stirring frequently until it releases some of its juices, 1 to 2 minutes. Add onion and cook until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add rice, black pepper, garlic and oregano and cook, stirring very frequently until rice is opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, raise heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to lowest setting and simmer, covered, until rice is cooked through, 60 to 65 minutes (or follow package directions). Check rice at 55 minutes and add more stock if needed. Remove from heat and rest for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with parsley and a small amount of lemon juice if using.


Amrita@Asian Slow cooking said...

Looks Yummy! Thanks for the step by step explanation. Would like to try this soon.

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