- 2 1/2 quarts water
- 2 1/2 cups wild rice (1 pound)
- 1 1/2 cups hazelnuts (6 ounces)
- 1/2 pound sliced bacon
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 pounds leeks, white and tender green parts, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 celery rib, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the wild rice, cover and cook over moderate heat until tender, about 1 hour. Drain well.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 15 minutes, or until fragrant. Transfer the nuts to a kitchen towel and let cool, then rub off the skins. Coarsely chop the nuts.
- In a large, deep skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Drain the bacon on paper towels. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the skillet. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and the leeks, celery and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat until the leeks are tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the wild rice, season with salt and pepper and cook just until warmed through.
- Stir the toasted hazelnuts, the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and the parsley into the wild rice, sprinkle in the bacon and serve.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.