Years ago, when I ran Heinz U.S.A., I bought a small company in Leominster, Massachusetts, called Near East Rice Pilaf. It was based on an Armenian family recipe and it was and still is very good. We think our recipe is even better because we make it fresh and finish it in the oven for a perfect texture.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium shallot, minced
1 cup white rice
2 tablespoons poultry seasoning or Panzeys Saté Seasoning
½ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
2 cups Homemade Chicken Stock, or good-quality canned chicken stock or broth
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a small stockpot over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the shallot and sauté until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the rice to coat thoroughly. Add the seasoning and stir in the pine nuts. Then add the chicken stock and bay leaf, raise the heat, and bring to a boil.
Cover the stockpot and transfer to the oven. Cook until all the stock has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Then remove the lid, fluff with a fork, sprinkle with the chopped parsley, and serve immediately.