|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
This delicious crockpot side dish recipe for wild rice pilaf is perfect served alongside grilled steak or chicken. It is flavorful and tender and just perfect. A pilaf is defined as a combination of rice and other ingredients, such as vegetables.
When you buy wild rice, make sure that you only purchase the type that has very long grains. If you buy a package that has broken grains, the rice will be mushy. Look at the package carefully. The grains should not be dusty or have dirt or pebbles in them.
Wild rice is the perfect choice for the crockpot. The long slow cooking time is ideal for wild rice. And did you know that wild rice isn't a grain but is the seed of a grass plant? It grows wild in marshy areas in Minnesota and the upper Midwest and was harvested by American Indians in canoes. It is still harvested that way, but most wild rice in supermarkets was grown commercially.
You could add other vegetables to this pilaf if you'd like. Some minced garlic would be good, as would some frozen corn or green beans. Sometimes we omit the mushrooms and stir in dried cranberries or cherries during the last hour of cooking time.
Canned mushrooms are used in this recipe because fresh mushrooms would give off too much liquid as they cook. The canned mushrooms are already cooked, so they just add an intense meaty flavor to the dish.
Spray a 3-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
Rinse the wild rice in a colander and drain well.
Combine the wild rice in the prepared crockpot together with onion, salt, pepper, chicken broth, water, mushrooms, and thyme and mix well.
Cover crockpot and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours. If you have a newer, hotter cooking slow cooker, check at three hours on high and six hours on low.
The pilaf is done when the rice is tender and has absorbed the liquid.
Stir in the butter, then cover the crockpot and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir gently but thoroughly and serve.