This rice pilaf puts other rice pilafs to shame. Stuffed with bacon, cheese, mushrooms, and many more hidden goodies, this is not – I repeat not – a health food alternative. But to those who don’t really care about that, make this and eat it. You will not be sorry. I served it with roasted chicken, but I couldn’t help but notice it would make an excellent lower-carb alternative during the holidays. It tastes like Thanksgiving in a bowl.
Wild Rice Pilaf
(Original recipe: Iowa Girl Eats)
1 1/2 cups wild rice
2 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 dried bay leaf
4 slices bacon, chopped
2 Tablespoons butter
1 large shallot, chopped
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Add wild rice, chicken broth, bay leaf, and a pinch of salt to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 40-45 minutes or until rice is al dente. Let pan sit off the heat with the lid on for 5 minutes. Remove bay leaf, fluff rice with a fork, and set aside.
Meanwhile, brown bacon in a skillet; transfer to a bowl, reserving bacon fat in skillet. Melt butter in skillet and add shallots, mushrooms, and celery. Once mushrooms have
released their liquid and begin to brown, add dried thyme. Saute until mushrooms and vegetables are tender. Add garlic and fresh sage; saute until garlic is fragrant, about 2 more minutes.
Remove skillet from heat. Add cooked rice, cooked bacon, chopped almonds, and Parmesan cheese; stir well to combine. Add a splash of chicken broth if you need to loosen the stuffing up a bit. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.