Easy one pot Cranberry Apple Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf simmered in herb seasoned chicken broth and apple juice and riddled with sweet dried cranberries, apples and roasted pecans for an unbelievable savory sweet side dish perfect for the holidays and easy enough for everyday!
Back in my 3rd month of blogging I had the giddy idea to simmer rice in apple juice for my Cheesy Apple Juice and Dijon Chicken Broccoli and Rice Skillet. It might sound way out there – but it is positively delicious! So as I was preparing to make this Cranberry Apple, Pecan, Wild Rice Pilaf, I remembered my beloved apple juice simmered rice and knew just what to do. Thankfully, as I explained in my past post, I always have apple juice on hand thanks to “Pass Out Park” when Kiwi and Patrick saved my life. And more thankfully, there has not been a repeat “Pass Out Park” episode, just a near “Pass Out Movie Theater,” but that is a whole separate post…
Now, on to this amazing rice! It is one of the most intoxicatingly delicious rice dishes I have ever consumed. And consume I did. I was shooting two recipes the day I photographed this Cranberry Apple Pecan Rice – the rice and my Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake. I shot the rice first and the cake second, so every trip back to the kitchen, I would pause and eat more rice – I could barely tear myself away. And each time I did, I just made another excuse to head back to the kitchen for more rice. Shooting that cake took twice as long as it should have.
This Cranberry, Apple, Pecan Wild Rice is perfect for the holidays, company, or just to exceed your everyday deliciousness quota and even more perfect because its cooked in one pot and there is hardly any “hands on” time.
It starts by bringing the apple juice, chicken broth, Dijon, butter, parsley, oregano and bay leaf to a boil then adding your wild rice. After you dump and run for about 50 minutes, you strain your rice, then to the same pot, you saute your onion, apple and garlic, then stir in some apple cider vinegar, dried cranberries, and pecans – that’s it for this deceptively sophisticated yet super simple recipe.
The apple juice, Dijon, butter infused rice is sweet and tangy, savory and buttery but not overpowering – just addicting. So overpowering in a different way – will overpowering – with one bite you won’t be able to stop! The dried cranberries add pockets of sweetness while the Granny Smith apple balances with a subtle tart and the toasted pecans add a hearty, salty crunch for the most satisfying mouthful of rice you will ever eat. Mouthful after mouthful, after mouthful…
You might want to volunteer to bring the side to Thanksgiving this year but please don’t wait that long to make this Cranberry, Apple, Pecan Wild Rice. You deserve its deliciousness sooner. Like today.
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups apple juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup wild rice blend, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 1 Fuji or honeycrisp apple, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
- fresh thyme
- fresh parsley
- Bring broth, apple juice Dijon, 1 tablespoon butter, salt, pepper, dried thyme, oregano, parsley and bay leaf to a boil in a large nonstick skillet. Add rice, cover and reduce heat to low (dial should be just above lowest LOW setting). Simmer 45-60 minutes or until rice is tender and almost all of the liquid has been absorbed, checking rice for doneness at 45 minutes. Once cooked, drain rice and leave in fine hole strainer.
- To the now empty pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Increase heat to medium high and add onions and apples; saute for 5-7 minutes, or until onions and apples are tender. Add garlic and saute for 30 more seconds.
- Return rice to skillet along with cranberries, pecans and apple cider vinegar. Toss to evenly combine. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Garnish as desired.
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I was thrilled to provide the food for the Caravan Shoppe’s beautiful Thanksgiving Chalkboard Prints photoshoot- you can check the prints out HERE to make your Thanksgiving/Christmas fabulously festive and get all 7 posters with different sayings for only $12!