Friday, March 11, 2011

Pancetta and Saffron Rice


Once again, I participated in a recipe swap; this time around, the challenge was side dishes.  Around here, side dishes are more often than not an afterthought...  I'll heat up some frozen vegetables and call it a day.  So, while I really didn't have much to offer, I was excited to try something that would take me out of my comfort zone.

This one was sent by my friend Lishie, and comes originally from Giada.  I can't recall ever having tasted saffron, so really had no idea how it tasted, or what this would be a good compliment to, so went ahead and made Giada's whole meal, excepting the dessert.

I cheapened this one up by subbing 4 slices of bacon for the one slice of pancetta, and a 10oz package of yellow rice (which contains saffron) for basmati rice and saffron.

Other than having some difficulty getting the rice cooked properly (because I used a smaller amount of rice than was called for in the recipe, I used the amount of liquid suggested by the package, but followed Giada's directions.  I have a problem cooking rice properly anyway), this was delicious.  the flavor was great, and it was a great accompaniment to the souffle.  It would be great alongside chicken!

Pancetta and Saffron Rice
From Giada de Laurentiis


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (8-ounce) piece pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 1/4 cups white basmati rice
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon saffron threads


In a medium (3-quart) saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until brown and crispy, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the pancetta to paper towels to drain. Set aside. Discard any cooking juices in the pan.

In the same pan, over medium heat, add the butter. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add in the rice and stir until the rice is lightly toasted and coated with the butter, about 1 minute. Stir in the stock, salt and saffron. Bring the mixture to a simmer and, with a wooden spoon. scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook until the rice is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes Let the rice stand for 5 minutes. Using a fork, fluff the rice and transfer to a serving bowl. Top with the cooked pancetta and serve.

1 comment:

Lishie said...

Glad it tasted good!

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