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Riso Al Forno
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
1 bay leaf
1 cup long-grain white rice
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups Chicken Stock (see page 228)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
Heat the oil in a large nonstick saute pan over mediumphigh heat until sizzling, about 2 minutes. Add the onion, garlic and bay leaf anc cook for 3-4 minutes, until the onion is soft. Stir in the rice and cook for 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of the white wine, stir to scrape up any brown bit from the pan bottom and cook for 1 minutes until the wine is absorbed. Stir in the remaining wine, the chicken stock, salt, pepper and parsley and bring to a boil. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid, reduce the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir the rice to fluff and remove the bay leaf.
This is a great basic rice pilaf recipe. Feel free to experiment with the ingredients - if you don't have white wine, use all chicken stock or beef stock. Stir in 1 teaspoon of a chopped fresh herb, such as thyme or oregano, at the same time as the parsley, to complement the dish you'll be serving the pilaf with. Spices such as curry powder or cumin are also great additions - simply stir in 1/2 tablespoon of curry powder or 1 teaspoon cumin when you add the rice to the pan.
For a great Lemon Pilaf, stir in the grated zest of 1 lemon after the 20 minutes of cooking and then let it sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
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