Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Sage Rice Pilaf

After I was married, I discovered that my love of homemade stuffing was not shared by my husband who preferred rice dishes over bread stuffing. At first, I made both whenever I cooked chicken or turkey. But as the babies came, I no longer took time to make stuffing just for me.

But I missed those flavors and one afternoon while working on dinner prep, I took a basic rice pilaf recipe that starts with cooking diced onion in butter and I decided to keep going adding the ingredients that make bread cubes become stuffing: celery and sage. It worked so well that although I was eating rice, the flavors evoked memories of Thanksgiving stuffing in my mind.

I never looked back and this sage rice pilaf became a great side dish for all of us. I make it as a side to any roasted or grilled meat or fish meal. It pairs well with any cooked vegetable and adding a homemade gravy in the fall and winter makes it extra comforting and warm.
This is an adapted recipe from Betty Crocker's Rice Pilaf and I don't measure my onion or celery amounts, but I've provided an amount to aim for if you like precise numbers. This recipe is also very close to a dish that my mother-in-law makes with leftover turkey or chicken where she adds a chicken noodle soup mix packet and plain water instead of the chicken broth I use. Her dish gives you rice and noodles and pieces of meat to make it into a main dish. You can choose to do it however you like.

2- 4 Tbsp. butter (I like butter so I use 4 Tbsp, use less if you prefer.)
1/2 c. diced onion
1/2 c. diced celery
1 cup uncooked regular long-grain rice
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. sage
Fresh chopped parsley (optional)

Melt butter in 3- quart saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion and celery in butter, stirring occasionally until tender.
Stir in uncooked rice. Cook for several minutes, stirring frequently until rice begins to turn golden. Do not let it burn or stick to the saucepan.
Add in broth, salt, pepper and sage and bring to a boil, stirring once or twice. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 16 minutes (do not lift cover or stir). Remove from the heat and let it stand covered for 5 minutes.  Garnish with chopped fresh parsley on top if desired.

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