Orange Cranberry Almond Rice Pilaf
Want something better than plain rice for a side dish? Orange cranberry almond rice pilaf is my new favorite to serve my family especially guests!
Rice was always the same at my house growing up, white. White with butter, white with a can of cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup, and white in a casserole like our viral cheesy ground beef and rice casserole. That’s it. We didn’t ever have brown rice or wild rice, and certainly never a vibrant orange cranberry almond rice pilaf. We were missing out and we didn’t even know it.
My parents came to visit over the last General Conference weekend and we, they especially because they are all kinds of amazingly hard workers, busted our buns on our yard. When we moved in everything was full of weeds and totally overgrown. I’m sure that it was a beautiful yard (and it still is) at one point but it needed things hedged, trimmed, pulled etc as the original owner must have been an amazing gardener. The hard thing is if you don’t keep up with it the yard just turns into a headache and it was stressing me out.
Mom and Dad have been working hard on trying to make healthier choices, Mom especially so I wanted to be really thoughtful and serve something filling after all of that hard work, but also a little on the lighter side, plus something that I could test on them for the holidays. Phew, that was a mouthful. So is this healthy? No, but it’s healthier and since we served with grilled chicken and a tomato cucumber salad I wasn’t worried about it.
I love working with Fisher Nuts because they are all natural and the product tastes fresh and wonderful, and when I started to think about lighter, filling and holidays my mind immediately went to nuts. They just fit the bill with all of those requirements. As I started playing around with things I realized that sauteing a little wild rice with shallots, and orange zest then adding in orange juice and craisins to plump them up a little screamed warm holiday meal without a crazy amount of work.
While the rice finished off in the rice cooker I toasted up some beautiful sliced almonds, but you could totally use pecans instead. Just make sure you choose good quality nuts and do not use old nuts as they do expire. I know people keep them around forever, but you really shouldn’t. Anyway, toss everything together at the end and add additional salt if needed then a little fresh parsley to bring a brightness back to the dish. It’s perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas or all year round. And you can head over to see what one of my kitchen heroes, Chef Alex has created with Fisher!
Orange Cranberry Almond Rice Pilaf
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 1 Shallot, minced
- 1 Small Garlic Clove, minced
- Zest of 1 Orange
- 2 Cups Rice
- ½- 3/4 Cup Craisins
- 2 Tablespoons Orange Juice
- Pinch of Salt
- ¼ Teaspoon Cinnamon
- ¼ Cup Sugar
- 3 Cups Chicken Stock or Broth
- 1 Cup Orange Juice
- ⅓ Cup Sliced Almonds
- ¼ Cup Parsley, chopped for garnish
- Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and shallots and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and orange zest, stirring a few times then add the craisins, orange juice, salt, cinnamon and sugar and cook for an additional minute then dump in the rice and a drizzle of olive oil if the pan is dry. Cook, stirring every now and again until the rice begins to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add into a rice cooker or pot.
- Add the orange juice and chicken broth and cook according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, toast the almonds, stirring occasionally, in a nonstick skillet over medium low heat until just starting to turn golden in color, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
- Once the rice is cooked, fluff with a fork and toss with the almonds, sprinkling the parsley over the top as garnish.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Fisher. The opinions and text are all mine.