Wild Rice

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WILD RICE

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup wild rice
2 cups chicken broth, less sodium
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup white or red onions, diced fine (optional)
1 teaspoon bacon fat rendered

Wild rice should be rinsed before cooking to remove any unwanted particles, such as hulls or storage debris.  Put the grains into a saucepot with warm tap water to cover, and stir the rice around to allow any particles to float to the top.  Skim off the particles and drain the water.  It's best to repeat the rinsing two more times before cooking.     In saucepan, heat wild rice, water, salt, chicken broth and bacon fat to boiling.  Reduce heat to low and cover.  Simmer until wild rice has absorbed most of the water, 20 minutes or longer and the texture of the cooked wild rice should be firm but not crunchy and should not be mushy or overcooked.   I talked to Barbara Warren at www.nativeharvest.com and she "tweaked" this recipe for me over the telephone.  Serve as a side with your main meat dish; in my case wild game!

YIELD:  3 to 4 cups

There is a multitude of different color hues in this wild rice as opposed to the hybrid grown so called wild rice which is nearly black in color and requires nearly twice as long to fully cook tender.  This rice only took 20 minutes to fully cook and there was probably 1/2 cup of liquid left in the saucepot and simply drained off the excess water.  The color of the wild rice depends on many variables  such as the location, time of year harvested, climate conditions, etc., and how the Wild Rice was processed.

Above wild rice served on 08-02-12 with cubed venison steak and gravy, broccoli n cheese casserole, whole beats and Mary Bees Tea  biscuits.  I purposely left the venison gravy off the wild rice to experience its true taste and smell which rendered a smell sensation of fresh plowed earth after a rain and floating down a slow moving stream or river in the early morning hours with a heavy due and fog present with the smell of fresh marsh grass and aquatic plant life.  The taste was somewhat nutty with a very generous amount of fiber and again an earthy sensation to the palette.   My bride still prefers regular long grain white or yellow rice but I was totally impressed with the range of smell, taste and textures in each bite!  To me, definitely worth the price paid for it!

Store uncooked wild rice in air tight container and place in refrigerator due to its moisture content.  It will keep for years refrigerated but I don't think I will be that frugal since I purchased it to consume!  I store my stone ground water powered  grist mill grits the same way.

Click on sequence thumbnails for a larger view:

 

HISTORY OF NATIVE AMERICAN WILD RICE

The following is a transcript from one of the boxes of wild rice I recently received:  "Our Manoomin, wild rice grows on lakes and rivers and is the heart of who we as  Anishinaabeg people.  Our people take to the lakes with ricing sticks, a push pole and a canoe, harvesting wild rice the same way we have for a millennium.  We parch our rice over the fire until it's perfect in its hues of brown, tan and green. Our wild rice harvest supports many families in our community, and reaffirms who we are in the universe.  We are glad to share with you our manoomin, as we continue our work to protect the genetic integrity and habitat of the only grain indigenous to North America.  The White Earth Land Recovery Project was founded in 1989 by grassroots advocate and activist, Winona LaDuke.  The project is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit Native organization located on the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota.  The organization's mission is to facilitate the recovery of the original land base of the White Earth Indian Reservation, while preserving and restoring traditional practices of sound land stewardship, language fluency, community development, and strengthening our spiritual and cultural heritage.  The Native Harvest project provides meaningful and sustainable economic opportunity through far trade, employment, and marketing for the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe) tribal members in the northern Minnesota region".

NOTES:  You will not find authentic native wild rice (Zizania palustris) in your regular supermarket, grocery store or road side stands.  Nearly all the wild rice sold and advertised today is a hybrid wild rice adapted for growing in paddies and harvested by mechanized equipment.  Wild rice grows in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Canada and is harvested on many Indian Reservations and public lakes and rivers with a canoe pushed along by means of a pole stick and the person in the front of the canoe uses two small sticks to lightly bend the rice stalks over the canoe and hit them to knock the grains loose into the bottom of the canoe called "knocking the rice".   There are several websites where you can order wild rice direct and due to the low yield and the amount of labor required to harvest the wild rice, dry, wood parch and hull aka thrash it, authentic Native American harvested wild rice is a little on the pricy side ranging anywhere from $8.00 to $12.50 or more per pound but worth every penny of it.  The hybrid paddy cultivated "wild" rice is mostly produced in Minnesota and California and not to be confused with true wild rice of which the hybrid cultivated paddy wild rice will be nearly black in color.

You can order true authentic Native American harvested wild rice from www.nativeharvest.com .  Below is a scan of the front cover of the package:

Web posted by Bill aka Mickey Porter 07-28-12 and updated on 08-02-12.

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