Last spring, I found a new food obsession: Risotto. This fall, I found a new food obsession: Saffron rice. (I never found a good time to share it in the fall, but now I have.) Oddly enough, though, I’ve never been a fan of rice. I never want to eat it, I never want to make it, and I really only use it to mix with whatever saucy food is sitting atop it. It’s bland, pretty dull looking and the texture’s kinda funky too, if you choose to think about the oddity that is rice. However, considering that Wikipedia says that rice constitutes more than 20% of the calories the world eats, most people in the world clearly do not think like me.
And now I agree with the human population, at least when it comes to this saffron rice. It’s flavorful, not bland like the Minute Rice my mom would make (sorry ML). It’s warm-flavored, and although it has a hefty dose of lemon, the citrus complements the warmth, making the mixture more delicious.
This recipe makes a lot of rice; eight large servings, and when I make it, I serve it with a vegetable, such as cacio e pepe-style braised kale or a spinach and cheese strata, and call it a meal. Of course, it would match well with a chicken or pork cutlet or mild fish and salad, too. However you serve it, though, you’ll be glad you did, and it’s sure to become a regular sight on your table.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, minced (or chopped as finely as you can)
1 bay leaf
juice of ½ lemon or 2 teaspoons bottled lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground coriander
small pinch of Saffron threads
2 cups long-grain white rice
½ cup dry white wine
3 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
2. In a large oven proof saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, bay leaf and a hefty pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and softened, about 8 minutes.
3. Mix in lemon juice, coriander and saffron, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until it’s translucent and has absorbed the liquid from the pan.
4. Stir in wine. Simmer over medium-high heat until it is absorbed, and then stir in stock and another hefty pinch of salt. Bring to a boil.
5. Cover the saucepan and transfer it to the oven. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand, with the lid on, for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.