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Wild Rice With Pecans

This is a great side dish when the rest of the food on the entree plate is robust: roast duck, thick pork chops, lamb, quail–even grilled sausage. Wild rice and pecans are native American crops, and easy to get at the store. Wild rice (which really is wild, although it’s not really a rice) is rather expensive, but make sure you’re buying pure wild rice–not a blend of wild and domestic rice. By the way, this has no relation to Konriko’s Wild Pecan Rice, a great Louisiana product–which, come to think of it, would substitute pretty well for the wild rice in this recipe.

Fried chicken with fried potatoes, garlic-parsley butter, and wild rice mix.

  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups wild rice
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions (tender parts only)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/8 tsp. Tabasco

1. Bring three cups of water or chicken (or duck) stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Dissolve the salt and maple syrup into it. Sprinkle in the wild rice and stir once. Cover the pot, lower the heat to a simmer, and simmer for 45 minutes. (Wild rice takes much longer than white rice to cook.)

2. While the rice is cooking, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the pecan pieces on a cookie sheet or pizza pan, and toast them on the top shelf of the oven. It takes about two minutes, but watch the nuts closely–as soon as you see even a hint of darkening, remove them.

3. When the rice is cooked, heat half the walnut oil in a skillet and saute the green onions just till they get tender–no more than two minutes. Add the rice and pecans to the pan. Stir with a kitchen fork to fluff and distribute all the ingredients.

4. Stir the Tabasco into the remaining walnut oil, and drizzle the oil over the rice at the table.

Serves six to eight side dishes.

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