Supreme Rice & Toasted Pecan Pilaf

½ cup pecan pieces
1 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. each salt & pepper
½ large onion, thinly sliced
½ yellow or red pepper cut into julienne strips
1 1/4 cup supreme rice blend
2 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth

Preheat oven to 375F. In a small baking pan, toss the pecans with the butter, thyme and salt & pepper until they are coated well. Toast them in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes or until they are crisp and fragrant (watch closely). Set aside.
In a pan, cook the onion and peppers in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring for about 5 minutes or just until they are softened. Pour onion mixture out into another bowl. Set aside.
Put the rice to the pan you used for the onions and cook it, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
Stir in the broth, heat to boiling; add salt & pepper to taste and stir well. Pour into casserole dish. Bake the mixture, covered, in the middle of the oven for 20 – 30 minutes. Stir in the onion mixture, cover and bake 10 – 15 minutes more or until the rice is tender and the broth has been absorbed. Stir in the pecans and serve.

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