Ingredients: yields 6 to 8 servings
- 2 Tb Vegetable Oil
- 2 cups long-grain white rice
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tb tomato paste
- 1 @10 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained or 1 cup of fresh diced tomatoes
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp fresh Mexican Oregano, ground
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
Use a heavy bottom stock pot. (I suggest a stock pot because it has a lot of head room for the water to evaporate without condensation collecting back on the rice.) Add the vegetable oil and heat on medium-high heat. Then stir in the rice making sure it is well coated with the hot oil and cook, stirring frequently until the rice has browned. Golden brown is perfect, but don’t be afraid if you end up with a few scorch pieces. Once the rice is browned stir in the onion and again stirring, cook until they are softened. This takes just a few minutes. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, tomatoes, chicken stock, oregano and salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to low (your lowest setting) and cover the stock pot with a lid and continue to cook for 30-40 minutes. (This method takes a while, but ensures a fluffy full rice just like the rice served in the finest Mexican restaurants)
After the 30-40 minutes of cooking on low the water in the rice should be completely evaporated, the rice should appear fluffy and full. Remove the covered pot from heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the black pepper, fluff with a fork and serve.
I realize that this method of preparing rice differs from the directions on the packages. I’m not sure why they direct us to cook rice so quickly, it just doesn’t allow for the full body of flavor to develop in the rice. I recommend ditching their directions and trying this old school way of cooking rice. I know it takes a lot more time, but it is so worth it. Even re-heating the leftovers doesn’t hurt the structure of the rice when prepared this way.