This is the cheats way to make an amazing tasty pilaf- and it only takes half an hour! A pilaf (also called pilau) is a seasoned grain & vegetable dish, cooked in stock or broth, which may or may not include meat. Common throughout the Middle East and Latin America, pilafs usually include fresh garden ingredients… which is ideal for us gardeners, because there are always some greens & herbs in the garden to pick from.
The key to a great-tasting pilaf is the stock; home-made will always be better than store-bought. A good stock is an important ingredient in so many recipes, that it really pays to have it on hand in the freezer. To make stock, I boil up the carcass of a supermarket barbecue chicken, or chicken frames when I see them on sale. Reduce to a simmer, cool, strain, then freeze in labelled containers. Then voila- any time you need stock, you’ll have it ready to…another step on the journey to self-sufficiency!
This wild rice pilaf pot with spinach and parmesan is easy to make vegetarian: simply omit the chicken or substitute it with a meat alternative of your choice. You can even leave out the cheese if you want to, in which case you may need to add a little extra salt.
Here’s How To Make It
Cook the onion until nearly translucent over a low-moderate heat. Once this is done, add the garlic, diced chicken and mushrooms & mix through. You can use any spinach you prefer- above is the brazilian spinach and red bok choy I used.
While the chicken and mushrooms are cooking down, chop your spinach finely, then chop your herbs and shallots.
Add the stock to the pan and mix through. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes to reduce the liquid. While the pilaf is simmering, grate the cheese & season to taste. Add the herbs towards the end of the simmering. Add the rices straight from the packets, 2-3 minutes before serving- microwave rice needs very little cooking (if you don’t have or don’t want to buy microwave rice, simply boil or steam 1/3 cup of each in advance). Lastly, add most of the cheese and mix it through, just before taking the pan off the stove.
Remove from the heat, then mix in the spinach. Top with shallots and a little extra cheese, then serve in ramekins.
Wild Rice Pilaf Pots w/ Spinach & Parmesan
- 1 large deep frying pan
- 1 Knife
- 1 chopping board
- 3 mushrooms medium size
- 1 whole chicken breast
- 1 onion large
- 3 tsp garlic, minced or finely chopped
- 750 ml chicken stock
- 100 grams parmesan cheese fresh
- 150 grams spinach alter quantity as you like
- fresh herbs, small handful optional
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 1/3 pkt black rice for microwave or 1/3 cup, cooked
- 1/3 pkt white rice for microwave or 1/3 cup, cooked
- 2 tbsp oil
- Peel & chop the onion while heating the oil over low-moderate heat.
- Cook the onion for 10 minutes or until nearly translucent. Do not burn or caramelise.
- Meanwhile, dice the chicken, mushrooms and garlic.
- Add the mushrooms, garlic and chicken, and cook for a further 5 minutes. The chicken should be white but only just cooked.
- Add the stock to the pan, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Chop the spinach finely and remove any stems.
- Chop the herbs and add to the pan.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the rices and cook a further few minutes.
- Grate the cheese, add it to the pan and mix through.
- Remove the pan from the heat and mix the spinach through.
- Serve in ramekins topped with shallots.