The subtle but bright orange flavor in this rice shines when paired with fish, pork, or chicken. It’s an easy-peasy side dish that elevates a simple side to a whole new level!
Prepare rice according to package directions, adding a large piece of orange peel and a bay leaf. After rice has cooked, remove from stove and place a clean tea towel under the lid to allow the rice to steam for 5-10 minutes.
Make It Your Own:
– Replace the orange peel and bay leaf with lemon peel and thyme
– Replace the orange peel with lime peel; mix in fresh cilantro leaves before serving (great with Mexican dishes)
– Replace the broccolini with any steamed vegetable – diced carrots or peas would be great. Experiment with your favorites!
The perfect rice side dish does exist, and it’s super easy to make! The simple addition of a bay leaf and orange rind turns your basic side of rice into a special side, with hardly any extra effort!
Orange-Scented Rice Pilaf with Broccolini
- 2-3 stalks Broccolini (a.k.a. Baby Broccoli)
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion (1 small onion)
- 3/4 cups basmati rice, or other long-grain rice
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 strips orange zest
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- Add broccolini stalks to a small pot of boiling, salted water. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the stalks are tender and the broccolini is a bright green. Remove the broccolini from the boiling water and immediately immerse in a bowl of ice water to cool and stop the cooking process. After 1-2 minutes, remove from the ice water, chop into 1″ pieces, and set aside.
- In a medium pan that has a tight-fitting lid, over medium heat, melt the butter and add the chopped onion. Sautee the onion for 2-3 minutes until very soft, but not browned. Add in the rice and stir to thoroughly coat the rice in butter. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes until the rice begins to turn opaque and slightly browns. Add in the chicken stock, bay leaf, orange peel, and salt. Put the lid on the pot and bring to a boil. Cook for 17-20 minutes without removing the lid until liquid is completely absorbed and rice is mostly tender.
- Remove the pan from the heat, take the lid off the pan and cover with a clean dishtowel, then replace the lid and let sit, covered for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove the lid and dishtowel, and stir in the brocollini.