This Cilantro Rice Pilaf is my go-to side dish when I want something a little fancier to serve with dinner. It just looks so pretty and elegant when served next to Chicken Pipián Rojo or Pollo a la Cacerola (Mexican Chicken Cacciatore). But the only thing really fancy about this recipe is the name. Made with just long-grain rice, fideo (or vermicelli), cilantro, and pecans, rice dishes don't get much easier than this.
Cilantro Rice Pilaf
- 3 cups chicken broth or water
- 1/2 medium onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup long-grain rice
- 1/4 cup fideo or vermicelli, broken up
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup pecans, finely chopped (optional)
Puree the chicken broth with the onion and garlic in a blender or food processor until smooth; set aside. Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the butter melts completely. Saute rice and fideo, stirring constantly, until light golden brown. Carefully add the puree mixture and stir gently just to combine. (Note: Stop stirring after this point! We're not making risotto.)
Once rice begins to boil reduce heat to low; season with salt, if necessary. Cover skillet and let simmer over low heat until all of the chicken broth has been absorbed. Remove from heat and gently stir in the chopped cilantro and pecans (if using). Cover and let set for 10 minutes. Enjoy!