Mexican Rice

Published September 1, 2004.

Why this recipe works:

Our perfect Mexican rice recipe had to be rich but not oily and moist but not watery; furthermore, it had to boast clean, balanced flavors and tender, perfectly cooked rice. We produced superior grains by rinsing the long-grain white rice and sautéing it in canola oil until it turned brown,… read more

Our perfect Mexican rice recipe had to be rich but not oily and moist but not watery; furthermore, it had to boast clean, balanced flavors and tender, perfectly cooked rice. We produced superior grains by rinsing the long-grain white rice and sautéing it in canola oil until it turned brown, before adding the cooking liquid produced superior grains for our Mexican rice recipe. Testing confirmed that equal portions of chicken broth and fresh tomatoes were ideal for a flavorful liquid base. We coupled the liquid base in a 2:1 ratio with the rice and some tomato paste to produce just the right flavor, color, and texture (a mid-cook stir through the rice mixture reincorporated the tomato mixture). Baking the rice in the oven (rather than keeping it on the stovetop) ensured even cooking.

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Serves 6-8 as a side dish

Because the spiciness of jalapeños varies from chile to chile, we try to control the heat by removing the ribs and seeds (the source of most of the heat) from those chiles that are cooked in the rice. Use an ovensafe pot about 12 inches in diameter so that the rice cooks evenly and in the time indicated. The pot's depth is less important than its diameter; we've successfully used both a straight-sided sauté pan and a Dutch oven. Whichever type of pot you use, it should have a tight-fitting, ovensafe lid. Vegetable broth can be substituted for chicken broth.

Ingredients

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