Last night for supper, I wanted to use up some chicken left over from the Khao Man Ghai…and I also had a gorgeous cluster of heavenly coriander sitting staring at me from the kitchen window sill. My kids fancied a risotto…but I had run out of risotto rice – poor planning there.. But I did have my usual large kiln jar full of basmati rice. The sun was still in the sky so I went into pilaf mode! I love pilafs and they are SO easy to make – and so versatile – just like risotto – but less fiddly.
This is for 4 – though I recommend making more as it is it is moorish! Olive oil / 1 onion chopped finely or 4 small shallots/ 1 garlic clove chopped finely / 240 gm basmati rice – though long grain white is just dandy / 400 gm of good chopped tomatoes / pinch of sugar / 600 ml of chicken stock / left over chicken / bunch of coriander, chopped roughly / 2 tsp of pine kernels.
Heat oil in a sauté pan. Add a splash of oil. Pan fry onion and garlic for 5 minutes until softened. Add the rice – no need to rinse first – cook for about 2 or 3 minutes stirring all the time to coat the rice. Add the tomatoes, the sugar, stock , the chicken and coriander plus a little black pepper. Stir once. Bring to boil, then cover the pan with the lid, and simmer for about 15 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender – do not be tempted to stir! Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan and then add to the mix when the 15 minutes is up. Remove the lid – cover the pan with a clean tea towel – pop the lid back on and leave to one side for 10 minutes. Then lid off, tea towel off and stir lightly with a fork. I served it with lightly pan fried diced red chilli and chestnut mushrooms in butter.
This is a dish you can play about with – experiment with different fresh herbs, meats etc. You can use prawns or salmon too…it all depends on what tickles your fancy….or what’s parked in your fridge!