In Italian cuisine “pilaf” is a rice pre-cooking style that allows chefs in busy restaurants to cut down time in risotto preparation. Usually a large tray of Carnaroli or Arborio rice will be baked for seven minutes with a large onion and a carrot, in water. After that it will be placed on a marble slab to cool down. Once cooled it will be kept in the fridge and used ad hoc to prepare risotti in a shorter time: 7 to 10 minutes depending on the “al dente” texture that the chef wants to achieve, rather than the usual 16 to 20 minutes.

I’m not sure if what I made qualifies as a pilaf or a risotto, and it doesn’t matter one jot, because it was good.

Chicken strips
Red & Green peppers
Spring onions

Sautee the above in a cast iron pot, adding the juice of two lemons and allow to reduce.

Add a cup of rice (I used a wild brown and lentil rice) and a cup of sweetcorn and stir through.
Cover with chicken stock and allow to simmer until all liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently.

Wine suggestion: Arniston Bay Sauvignon Blanc

Research: Wikipedia



  1. I always wondered how they handled risotto in restaurants. That’s interesting. Thanks, Cindy. You’re right. It doesn’t matter … pilaf or risotto. Good ingredients make a good dish. Yum! πŸ™‚

    Happy dinners …

  2. I would love that dish! But tsk – before I read your text and saw it was chicken, I saw the wine bottle and thought, “Look at that Cin. Now she’s having to photograph her empties!”

  3. Cin, it’s almost 4.30pm…I have not been cooking (or even eating) that well this whole week…no doubt what’s going to be on my menu tonight..the perfect solution, I only have aborio rice (will that do?) Sorry to say…no Sauvignon Blanc for this girl…..tonight I am going to have a
    Bethany Cabernet Merlot…one of my favourites. Thanks for feeding me tonight!!! Mwah xxx

  4. That looks WAAAY better than my attempts at risotto the other night – Hooligan was allowed to ask for anything for supper prior to her first exam and she chose risotto – something I am not good at making at all – in fact the only rice I can make is sushi rice!! However she looooved it and so did Schatzi so I guess it could not have been too bad – was just a tad mushy for my liking!!

  5. What I love about this dish is that it is simple and all the ingredients can be found in the US. I might just be referring back to your blog more often in future; not just for your scrumptious writing, but also for your mouth watering (and easy) recipes πŸ˜‰

  6. I think I’m going to give this one a whirl the next time I have a non-vegetarian date-night or a friend in from out of town. I cannot possibly imagine how it wouldn’t be a hit!
    I’m also going to try that wine suggestion.

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