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I think I got this recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine--great read! This simple, tasty side dish reminds me a little of paella, and is so delish--it goes great with just about everything, but I particularly like it with salmon or my Grilled Rosemary Chicken With Cucumber Relish.
- 2 1⁄2 cups low sodium chicken broth (can substitute water, but won't be quite as good)
- 1⁄8 teaspoon saffron (about 20 threads or a "pinch")
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, small diced (1 1/4 cups)
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and small diced (about one cup)
- 1 1⁄2 cups long-grain white rice (I use Basmatti)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more if needed
- 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1⁄4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped (can use half as much dry)
- On the stove top or in the microwave, heat the broth until hot. Add the saffron, cover, and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a heavy-based 3-quart saucepan with a tight lid, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and bell pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add the rice, salt and cayenne, and stir well to coat each grain with oil. Toast for a full five minutes, stirring regularly to keep the grains separated and to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan (the rice may turn opaque before 5 minutes is up, but keep going). Reduce the heat to low if there are any signs of scorching. Stir in 2 tablespoons of parsley and the garlic.
- Add the saffron broth, stir once, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 18 minutes. Remove from the heat, and let the pilaf sit, still covered, for five minutes.
- Once the pilaf has rested, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Using the fork, gently fold in the almonds, the remaining parsley, and the oregano. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
- P.S. You might be tempted to leave out the saffron because it's expensive, but DON'T DO IT! It's worth every penny, and one jar goes a long way. If you have a Trader Joe's in your area, you can pick up a jar for about three to four bucks. If you don't have a TJ's, I'm sorry for you.