Total Calories: 452
1. Place the rice in a large bowl and add cold water to cover by 3 inches. Swirl the rice around with your fingers until the water becomes cloudy, then pour through a strainer to drain. Repeat the process until the water remains clear. This will take 4 to 6 rinsings.
2. Place 8 cups of the water and the salt in a large shallow pot (preferably nonstick the pot should be 10 to 12 inches across and about 6 inches deep) and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high, add the rice, and cook, uncovered, at a brisk simmer for 6 minutes. Pour the rice into a strainer, rinse under cool running water, and drain well. Wipe out and dry the pot with paper towels.
3. Meanwhile, place the cranberries, 1 1/2 cups water, and the sugar in a medium-size saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the cranberries are soft and most of the cooking liquid has evaporated, 5 to 8 minutes the pan juices should be thick and syrupy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cranberries to a bowl. Stir the 2 tablespoons butter into the pan juices until melted and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside at room temperature.
4. Combine the yogurt, melted butter, and 2 tablespoons water in a bowl and whisk to mix. Pour this mixture evenly over the bottom of the rice pot. Spoon a 1/2-inch layer of rice evenly over the yogurt mixture. Stir the cranberries into the remaining rice, and without disturbing the rice layer in the pot, add the cranberry rice, mounding it toward the center. Place the pot, uncovered, over medium heat and cook until the rice begins to brown on the bottom, 6 to 8 minutes.
5. Reduce the heat to low. Wrap a clean kitchen towel around the pot lid, piling any excess cloth on top of the lid. (You want to keep the cloth away from the heat.) Place the cloth-covered lid over the rice and cook until the rice on top is tender and the rice on the bottom of the pot has formed a dark golden crust, about 40 minutes. Check after 30 minutes, and if you don’t see a crust, increase the heat slightly. Pour the reserved cranberry juices over the rice and remove the pan from the heat. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
6. To serve, spoon the loose rice on top into a bowl, leaving the crusty rice at the bottom. Place a round platter over the pot. Invert the pot and give it a little shake. The crusty rice should slide out in a golden brown disk. Cut the crust into wedges with a spoon and serve it next to the loose rice.
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