I made this the other night for dinner, and it was fabulous. I think the base recipe would be a great base for any additional vegetables you may like to throw in. I added broccoli for something green, but I can see adding mushrooms, peas, zucchini, even tomatoes.
But as a basic rice, either as a main course or a side, this is tasty and fun.
I used brown rice, mainly because it’s healthier and I love the texture, but there’s no reason white rice can’t be used instead. I could wax poetically about this rice, but instead I’ll just quote Rob. “That rice is really pretty good.” It’s a husband pleaser.
I treated it a bit like risotto, toasting the uncooked rice in fat (pancetta instead of butter) before simmering it. It infused the rice with all that flavor, and I have to say, the leftovers are just as good.
1 cup brown (or white) rice
2 cups chicken broth
2 thick slices of pancetta (about 1/4 lb), diced
1 medium onion, chopped
salt and pepper
optional: extra vegetables, saffron
1. In a large pot, cook pancetta pieces over medium high heat until fat has released and pancetta is slightly crunchy, 5 to 8 minutes.
2. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes.
3. Spoon onion and pancetta out of the pot, leaving the fat behind. Add rice and toast for 2 to 4 minutes.
4. Add chicken broth and cover. Boil 50 to 60 minutes, or until all chicken broth has been absorbed. (Brown rice takes longer than white rice, cook according to the package directions.)
5. Salt and Pepper to taste and serve.