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They're almost casseroles. They wisely extend wild rice.

They're almost casseroles. They wisely extend wild rice

Wild rice, flavored and supplemented with other ingredients to make this luxury food go further, is the base for these two make-ahead main dishes.

In the first, rice simmered in chicken broth combines with cinnamon-scented onions that have been slowly cooked to sweetness in butter. You add hot orange-glazed baked chicken thighs, cool orange slices, and, for a refreshing finish, a squeeze of orange juice.

The second dish has an earthier character. You start with a butter-toasted pilaf of wild rice and brown rice. Add mint, salty olives, and chunks of feta cheese for a lively mixture; top it off with roasted Polish sausages.

The seasoned rice mixture for each entree can be used freshly cooked or held in the refrigerator for several days. While the rice mixture reheats, covered, the meat bakes separately in the same oven, then is added to the rice just before serving. This two-step process is a slight departure from a typical casserole, but both the meat and the rice need little attention in the oven.

Wild Rice with Chicken and Oranges

6 chicken thighs (about 2 lb. total)

1 tablespoon orange marmalade

Wild rice with cinnamon onions (recipe follows)

Salt and pepper

2 or 3 medium-size oranges, peeled with a knife to remove white membrane

Parsley sprigs, optional

1 medium-size orange, cut in half

Lay things side by side, skin side up, in a 9- by 13-inch baking pan or dish. Bake in a 375| oven until skin is browned and meat is no longer pink at bone (cut to test), about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and tilt pan to drain off juices; discard all but 2 tablespoons drippings. Blend reserved drippings with marmalade, brush mixture over chicken, and bake 10 minutes more.

If you want, cook the rice while the chicken bakes. Or, if you've prepared rice ahead, tightly cover the baking dish with foil and set in oven with chicken after chicken has cooked 30 minutes. Bake until hot in center, about 20 minutes.

Remove chicken and rice from over and lay chicken pieces on top of heated rice; pour any pan juices over chicken. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cut peeled oranges in thin crosswise slices and arrange around chicken. Garnish with parsley.

At the table, squeeze juice of orange halves over chicken and serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Wild rice with cinnamon onions. In a fine strainer, rinse 1 1/3 cups (1/2 lb.) wild rice; drain. In a 4- to 5-quart pan, combine rinsed wild rice, 3 cups regular-strength chicken broth, and 2 teaspoons grated orange peel. Bring to boiling, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until rice is tender to bite, about 45 minutes; drain well.

While rice cooks, melt 2 tablespoons butter or margarine in a 12- to 14-inch frying pan over medium heat. Thinly slice 4 medium-size onions and add to butter along with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Stirring often, cook onions until limp and flavor is sweet, 25 to 30 minutes. Add to drained wild rice and mix gently. (If made ahead, let cool, cover, and chill up to 5 days.) Pour rice mixture into a 9- to by 13-inch or 10- by 12-inch casserole.

Polish Sausage with Wild Rice Pilaf

Wild rice pilaf (recipe follows)

1/4 pound feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 cup pitted, chopped calamata olives (or other Greek-style salty olives)

1/3 cup minced fresh mint (or 3 tablespoons dry mint)

4 Polish sausages (about 1 1/2 lb. total)

Fresh mint sprigs, optional

In a 9- by 13-inch casserole, mix wild rice pilaf with feta cheese, olives, and chopped mint; cover tightly with foil.

On outer curved side of each sausage, cut slashes diagonally at 1-inch intervals, almost but not quite through the sausage. Carefully lay sausages in a 9- by 13-inch baking pan.

Place rice and sausages in a 400| oven and bake until rice is hot in center and sausages are sizzling, about 20 minutes.

Remove both dishes from oven. Lay hot sausages on pilaf, garnish with mint sprigs, and serve. Makes 4 or 5 servings.

Wild rice pilaf. Rinse 2/3 cup (1/4 lb.) wild rice in a fine strainer; drain.

In a 12- to 14-inch frying pan over high heat, melt 1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine. Add 1 cup brown rice and 1 medium-size onion, chopped. Cook rice, stirring often, until lightly toasted and opaque, about 10 minutes. Add 4 cups regularstrength beef broth, the rinsed wild rice, 1/3 cup minced parsley, and 2 teaspoons dry rosemary. Bring to boiling, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer until wild rice is tender to bite, 45 to 60 minutes; drain well. (If made ahead, let cool, cover, and chill up to 5 days.)

Photo: A squeeze of orange just before serving flavors orange-glazed chicken thighs on wild rice with cinnamon-spiced onions
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:May 1, 1986
Previous Article:Berries under meringue, with wine or custard, in relish or pastel pies.
Next Article:May menus: Mother's Day breakfast in bed, shop-and-serve supper, oven-fried fish Japanese-style.

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