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Wingin’ It: Rice Pilaf for Wild Card vs. Indianapolis Colts

No matter what, not the last recipe of the season

Where there’s football, there’s food. There are many great options in the category of “traditional fare” but you might be in the mood for something different. Wingin’ It has you covered with a new Buffalo sauce-inspired recipe every week of the Buffalo Bills’ season. Get ready to win big in your kitchen as the Bills get ready for the Indianapolis Colts!


Pilaf

First off apologies to Rumblings writer Nickbat. He suggested “Wild(card) rice pilaf” and honestly the pun sold the entire thing. And you could still try it but I had to abandon it (see below). Anyway, if you’re looking to make a fairly ordinary side dish the star of the show, rice pilaf is a good way to do it. This slightly spicy version is fast and will go well with whatever else you’re having for the game. I did homemade chicken tenders.

Buffalo Rice Pilaf

Serves: 2-4
Active Time: 30 min or more
Total Time: 45 min or more

Ingredients (Note: This recipe does depend a lot on what type of rice you use.)

4 Tbsp unsalted butter
12 small onion, chopped
1 cup rice (I used jasmine)
Chicken broth according to directions on rice packaging
4 Tbsp hot sauce
12 tsp salt
Preferred veggies and such*

Directions

  1. Melt butter in medium pot on MED/HIGH; Add onions and sauté until translucent, stirring frequently, about 2-3 min.
  2. Stir in rice; toast, about 3-5 min. (Some, but not all rice should be very lightly browned.)
  3. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  4. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cover tightly. (Cooking time will be dependent on package directions.)
  5. About 3 min before rice is done**, stir in hot sauce and salt. Finish cooking** and serve.
  6. Depending on desired firmness/texture, additional liquid may be needed to finish cooking. Taste/check as you’re nearing the finish line.

Wingin’ It Tips

*Before you start, make sure you know what you’re adding. I label most add-ins as either “hard” or “soft” ingredients and that will determine when you add them. I used carrots and baby bella mushrooms, which gives me one of each type. For the carrots, they’re added with the chicken broth (step 4) and you may want to consider adding a little extra liquid to help steam them. Celery is a common add and can be added here as well. The mushrooms were added with the hot sauce (step 7). Peas or corn would be added here as well.

**The word “done” with rice can be pretty subjective. What I mean for this recipe is that if the type of rice you use calls for 15 min of simmering, you add the hot sauce at about 12 min when the broth is mostly cooked in.


BONUS thing! What the hell happened to the wild rice?

Pilaf

I had purchased a really nice-looking wild-rice variety for this recipe. One thing to know about these recipes though is that often I truly am wingin’ it. With most rice, swapping to broth instead of water is simple enough. My first attempt at this added the hot sauce with the broth. Cooking is chemistry and the rice didn’t like that. A 45-min rice variety was still chewy and near crunchy after an hour and a half. There was no way I was sharing that recipe.

A second thing to know about these recipes is that the reason I make most of these on the fly is that they’re actually dinner for our family. I don’t have a ton of time to experiment in the kitchen. I revised the recipe and I’m confident I could get it to work with the wild rice. With the type I selected I’d still be looking at another 45 min at least. The jasmine rice I used took 15 min. So the “wild” was dropped due to time constraints.