A side dish of rice is often a quick, delicious way to turn a simply grilled or roasted fish, chicken or turkey into a main course. I get bored with the same-old boiled rice. This anise-flavored rice is an easy variation. It is particularly nice when I take advantage of the ready current supply of crisp fennel bulbs as a vegetable. In Roasting: A Simple Art, I have a recipe for roasting fish with fennel, or the fennel can be cut in wedges and simply steamed until tender-about twenty minutes.
2 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons anise seed
2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste, depending of stock used
2 cups Carolina Rice
In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a boil with 2 cups water, the anise, garlic, bay leaf, oil and salt. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Return to a boil. Add the rice. Return to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 16 minutes.
If making ahead simmer for 14 minutes. When ready to serve add a little additional liquid and simmer to reheat.