Orzo is a great substitute for rice in this buttery and delicious pilaf. The simple technique of toasting your orzo, then cooking it in a flavorful mix of chicken broth and saffron, makes for a full flavored, simple side dish.
Cook 1 minced shallot in 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 cup orzo and cook, stirring, until toasted, 3 to 5 minutes. Add 2 cups chicken broth, 1/2 teaspoon each saffron and kosher salt and 2 bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then stir and reduce to a simmer; cover and cook until the orzo is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter and season with salt.