Chickpea, chorizo and brown rice pilaf a versatile side


Side dish

Chickpea, Chorizo and Brown Rice Pilaf

1 teaspoon mild olive oil or vegetable oil

4 ounces fresh chorizo, casings removed; or 3 ounces smoked, cooked chorizo, cut into quarters lengthwise, then thinly sliced

3/4 cup finely diced onion

1 1/2 cups cooked or canned, no-salt-added chickpeas (from one 15.5-ounce can, drained and rinsed)

1 cup raw long-grain brown rice

Kosher salt

2 1/4 cups homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth, or more as needed

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the oil in a 2 1/2-to-3-quart ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring every minute, for 5 to 6 minutes, until it starts to lightly brown. (If using fresh chorizo, use a wooden spoon to break it up and be sure to cook it until it has lost its raw look.) Add the onion and stir to coat; reduce the heat to medium and cook for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring as needed, until the onion softens.

Add the chickpeas and rice. Season with salt to taste. Pour in the broth, stir once and increase the heat to medium-high. Once the liquid comes to a boil, cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Bake for 45 minutes, then check for doneness. If the rice is undercooked and all of the broth has been absorbed, add 1/2 cup of broth, cover and return to the oven for 5 to 8 minutes. If there is still liquid pooling in the bottom of the pot, cover and return to the oven for 5 to 8 minutes until the broth is absorbed.

When the pilaf is done, taste it and add salt if needed. Stir in the parsley with a fork, fluffing the rice at the same time. Makes 6-8 servings.

Per serving (based on 8): 220 calories, 9 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 250 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar.

Washington Post Service

Deciding on the right side dish to serve is sometimes more challenging than choosing an entree.

I lean heavily on the versatile pilaf: a rice dish cooked with vegetables, beans and/or spices. Here, a small amount of spicy chorizo entices my family to eat chickpeas and brown rice. Both fresh and cooked versions work well in this recipe.

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