Published November 1, 2002.
Too often, this American grain resembles mulch and has a taste to match. We figured out how to tame the flavor and turn out properly cooked rice every time.
More often that not, the sleek ebony coating on wild rice masks a chewy interior tasting of little but the marsh from whence the rice came. Sometimes the rice is undercooked and difficult to chew. At the other end of the spectrum, overcooked wild rice is gluey.
Properly cooked wild rice is a study in contrasts: chewy yet tender and cottony--like popcorn. Ideally, the grains remain discreet, doubling to quadrupling in size from their uncooked state. The flavor of wild rice can be a little overwhelming, so we'd have to find a way to tame it.
Simmer the rice slowly, making sure to stop the cooking process at just the right moment by checking it for doneness every couple of minutes past the 35-minute mark. For a simmering liquid, use chicken broth—it is mild yet rich, and it tempers the rice's muddy flavor to a pleasant earthiness and affirms its subdued nuttiness. To tame the strong flavor of the wild rice, add some white rice to the mixture, then add onions, carrots, dried cranberries, and toasted pecans for a winning pilaf.list of recipes