Orange Scented Wild Rice and Chestnuts
A medley of wild and white rice combined with roasted chestnuts, orange, honey and fresh thyme makes a versatile, great tasting side dish that pairs well with any type of roasted poultry, pork or ham. It can be made ahead and reheated too so it's a great choice for entertaining.
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3/4 cup wild rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3/4 cup long grain white rice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 lb chestnuts, roasted, peeled and chopped (see instructions below)
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in the wild rice and the wine. Cover tightly, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the grains are tender, about 45 minutes. Stir in the white rice, cover again and simmer until all the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
Add the butter, chestnuts, orange zest, orange juice, honey and thyme. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm until ready to serve, up to 1/2 hour.
Makes 6 servings
Choose chestnuts that are plump and firm with no visible blemishes or mold.
To roast, cut an "X" into the flat side of each chestnut with a sharp pairing knife. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast at 400°F for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and peel off the outer shell and skin while the chestnuts are still hot because once they cool, peeling becomes a good deal more difficult. You may want to reduce the oven temp to about 250°F and work with just a few nuts at a time.
This dish may be prepared in advance and reheated. Stir in an extra tablespoon each of orange juice and butter, cover tightly and place in a 300°F for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring once after about 15 minutes.