Rice pilaf is famous all over the world as a side dish to many meat and poultry meals. In Turkey, 'pilav' is used to describe a whole array of dishes made with rice.
Pilaf is cooked with butter, oil and stock and often features other ingredients like bits of pasta, lentils, chick peas and vegetables. Contrary to perception, classic pilaf is very easy to prepare with only a few ingredients.
Turkish people are very particular about their pilaf. Each grain must be tender and the rice must not become sticky.
Try this easy recipe for rice pilaf with orzo to serve with your grilled meats, stewed dishes and anywhere you would serve plain rice.
• 1 tbsp. butter or margarine
• 1 tbsp. cooking oil
• 2 tbsp. orzo pasta
• 1 cup Baldo or Calrose rice
• 2 cups chicken broth
• salt and pepper to taste
• Prep Time: 5 minutes
• Cook Time: 20 minutes
• Total Time: 25 minutes
1. First, melt the butter and oil together in a shallow saucepan. Once melted, add the orzo pasta and stir continuously over medium heat until the pasta turns a dark golden color (be careful to keep stirring so the butter and orzo don't burn).
2. Add the uncooked rice and stir thoroughly until the oil has worked its way through all the grains. Add your chicken broth and spices and bring to a boil.
TIP: If you are using chicken bouillon in place of stock, cut down or omit the salt.
3. Cover and reduce the heat. Let the rice simmer slowly until the liquid disappears.
4. Without removing the cover, take the pan from the heat and put it aside to cool down. Keep the top on at all times while the rice cools.
TIP: If too much condensation forms on the inside of the lid, open it and cover the top of the pan with some paper towels, then close the lid over them. This will absorb excess moisture and allow the rice to continue to steam at an even pace.
5. Before serving, open the lid and gently stir the rice to loosen the bottom and separate the grains.
TIP: You can use a small dessert bowl as a mould for your rice pilaf. Fill up the bowl and pack down the warm rice with the back of a spoon. Invert the bowl onto each serving plate. The pilav will pop out in the shape of the bowl.
So there you have it – 5 simple steps to 'Turkish Pilav' success! Happy Cooking Everyone!