Wild Rice Pilaf with Pecans and Dried Cranberries

Wild Rice Pilaf with Pecans and Dried Cranberries

This wonderful side dish combines the sweetness and tartness of cranberries with the nuttiness of pecans to for wonderful contrast of flavors that’s sure to become a new holiday favorite.


SERVES 6 TO 8 Wild rice goes quickly from tough to gluey, so begin testing the rice at the 35-minute mark and drain the rice as soon as it is tender. 1 3/4 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth 2 bay leaves 8 sprigs thyme, divided into 2 bundles, each tied together with kitchen twine 1 cup wild rice, rinsed well and picked over 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 1/4 cups) 1 large carrot, chopped fine (about 1 cup) Salt 2 1/4 cups boiling water 3/4 cup sweetened or unsweetened dried cranberries 3/4 cup pecans, toasted in small dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant and lightly browned, about 6 minutes, and chopped coarse 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves Ground black pepper 1. Bring chicken broth, bay leaves, and 1 bundle thyme to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add wild rice, cover, and reduce heat to low; simmer until rice is plump and tender and has absorbed most liquid, 35 to 45 minutes. Drain rice in mesh strainer to remove excess liquid. Return rice to now-empty saucepan; cover to keep warm and set aside. 2. While wild rice is cooking, place white rice in medium bowl and cover with 2 inches water; gently swish grains to release excess starch. Carefully pour off water, leaving rice in bowl. Repeat about 5 times, until water runs almost clear. Drain rice in mesh strainer. 3. Heat butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat until foam subsides; about 2 minutes. Add onion, carrot, and 1 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add rinsed white rice and stir to coat grains with butter; cook, stirring frequently, until grains begin to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add boiling water and second thyme bundle to rice; return to boil, then reduce heat to low, sprinkle cranberries evenly over rice, and cover. Simmer until all liquid is absorbed, 16 to 18 minutes. Off heat, fluff with rice with fork. 4. Combine wild rice, white rice mixture, pecans, and parsley in large bowl; toss with rubber spatula. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste; serve immediately.