How To Cook Wild Rice

The best wild rice comes from Minnesota and, in particular, we like those from around Moose Lake the best.  Wild rice often turns out under-cooked and difficult to chew, or over-cooked and gluey.  Through trial and error, we learned to simmer the rice slowly in plenty of liquid, checking to see if it is just the right moment of doneness every couple of minutes past the 35 minute mark.  Our friend likes to cook 1 cup of rice with 2 cups of water on the stove for an hour and then let sit for 5 hours.

Method #1
Wash one cup of Wild Rice thoroughly.
Place the Wild Rice in a heavy saucepan with 4 cups of salted chicken broth. Bring to boil.
Simmer covered for about 45 minutes or until tender but not mushy. (Remember wild rice may have different preparation times – sometimes as short a cooking time as 20 minutes.)
Uncover. Fluff with a table fork. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Drain excess liquid, if any.

Method #2
1 cup raw Wild Rice
Rinse thoroughly and put in a covered baking dish. Add 3 cups of chicken stock. Cover and bake in a 350° oven for 1½ hours. Check rice after 1 hour’s time. If more water is needed, add water and fluff with fork. Continue baking for an additional ½ hour. Rice should be moist – not dry.

Put extra cooked batches in sealed bags and freeze for future use. Wild Rice freezes beautifully and is so handy to have on hand.

Wild Rice Pilaf with Cranberries and Pecans

Wild Rice Pilaf with Pecans and Cranberries

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
8 sprigs thyme
1 cup wild rice, rinsed and drained
2 T olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and chopped fine
1 onion, minced
   Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice, rinsed and drained
2 1/4 cups water
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped coarse
2 T minced fresh parsley

1. Bring the broth, bay leaves and 4 sprigs of the thyme to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the wild rice and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover and continue to simmer until the wild rice is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid, 35-40 minutes. Drain the rice, discarding the bay leaves and thyme. Return the wild rice to the pot and cover to keep warm.

2. While the wild rice cooks, heat 1 T of the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the carrots, onion, and 1/2 tsp salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Stir in the white rice and cook, stirring often, until the edges of the grains begin to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the water, cranberries and remaining 4 thyme springs and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and continue to simmer until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed, 16 to 18 minutes.

4. Combine the cooked wild rice and white rice, pecans and parsley in a large serving bowl. Drizzle with remaining T oil and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Yield: 12 servings