Rice Pilaf Please

Ryan Laudenschlager
I love rice.  Short grain, medium grain, long grain, whole grain, sticky, red, black, white, yellow, and even green rice are delicious, filling and simple to prepare.  
My favorite rice preparation by far is rice pilaf.  Long grain rice that is loose, fluffy, and filled with flavor.  The method is simple and, once the pilaf is going, it's hands-free till dinner.  I can get a pilaf started and, while it cooks, prepare the rest of the meal with one less thing to think about.  That's vital, because my brain is already full of daily routines, food info, and every spoken line from The Princess Bride.  You have to make priorities, people.
A few keys to rice pilaf:  
  1. Long grain rice
  2. 2:1 Liquid to Rice
  3. "Pearl" or saute the rice in oil 
  4. Heat the liquid before adding to the rice
 
Start with a sweat of 1 cup standard mirepoix (50% diced onion, 25% diced celery, 25% diced carrots) in a little olive oil. Toss the rice (2 cups) and saute until fragrant and "pearled".  Add 4 cups of hot chicken stock, stir a few times, and bring to a simmer.  Cover tightly with foil and bake in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and let sit, covered for 10 minutes.  Remove foil, fluff rice and serve.
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