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Armenian Rice Pilaf – Baked

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Armenian Rice Pilaf - Baked

Armenian Rice Pilaf - Baked

Time: 45-55 minutes

Serves: 8-10

Inspired by: My passion for throwing parties and not spending a lot of time cooking during them. I love the Armenian rice pilaf that I grew up with, but I feel like I have to tend to it while it’s cooking. I wanted to figure out how to make larger quantities, do most of the preparation ahead of time, and then put it in the oven to come out just at the right time for a large dinner party. After several experiments and refinements, this is recipe that I now use often.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups uncooked Basmati or long grain white rice (I prefer Basmati as it’s more flavorful and aromatic)
  • ¾ cup vermicelli noodles broken into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons butter

Preparation:

  • Melt butter in skillet over medium heat and lightly brown vermicelli noodles
  • Combine with all other ingredients in a 5 x 9 x 2 ½ inch glass baking dish and mix well
  • Seal pan snuggly with aluminum foil
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or at 350 for 40-45 min
  • When you remove it from oven, it may still look fairly “wet” and the rice may not be completely finished cooking
  • If needed, let it sit out of the oven, covered, for about 10 minutes and serve
  • Add some really hot chicken broth or water just before serving to make it juicier

Notes: I love this for parties. For advanced preparation, I typically brown the vermicelli noodles and put them in the baking dish (and any excess butter) with the rice and salt and mix it well. I measure out the chicken broth and have it ready to mix in. This way, it only takes a minute to prepare it and put it in the oven when I’m ready.

This is great with any meal, but nice to incorporate into a Mediterranean-themed meal such as hummus or baba ganoush as a starter, and served with lemon-herb chicken kabobs and Greek salad.

Wine Suggestions: This is a fabulous enhancement to a meal if you are serving a high acid white wine or a red wine with some tannins because of the salt and butter. For those who enjoy a rich, buttery, California chardonnay – that could be a very complimentary pairing as well.

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