Making Spanish Rice

Ok, I know some of you know how to make rice. I am not talking about the quick, boil in a bag type of rice either. This kind is basically a recipe that calls to empty the rice full container type of recipe. Save the Jasmine rice for stir frys and any Oriental type dinners. Please.

I am making some Spanish rice. Normally this uses either long grain or short enriched type of rice. It usually don’t matter, hence why I mention if you have 3 bags of what ever type of rice left over, then this would be that recipe.

Things you will need:

So the most important thing you will need is a way to cook the rice or the pot to make it in. I have a good pot that I use that works great. I will post a link on Amazon to get it. Or visit your local big box retailer where I got mine for one. It will be heavy, but has many uses.

After getting the pot, you will need to gather your ingredients near a cutting board. I recommend using a fairly good size board. There will only be a few ingredients you will be cutting.

The list goes like this:

  • Rice- rinsed at least 3 times
  • Onion- Medium to Large
  • Green Bell Pepper 1 each
  • Tomato Sauce- prefer spiced versions 2 cans
  • Cumin- about 1 to 2 tbls spoons
  • Salt – Kosher preferred
  • Garlic- fresh minced or powdered 1 teaspoon
  • Pepper, white or black
  • Chili Powder 1 teaspoon more for spiciness
  • Chicken Stock at least 2 cups
  • Optional- Chicken
  • Optional – Peas
  • Optional – Red Bell Peppers

So with all these ingredients together, go ahead and put in about a 1/4 cup of the canola oil. It really depends on how much rice you have to use. Generally, you will want about a cup and a half to make a big batch. Once you make rice enough, you will be able to judge how much makes from a cup to more or less than a cup.

The main point is to start with enough rice for what rice you have. The general rule of thumb is for every cup of rice, use about a 1/4 cup of oil. Unless you are using skin from chicken thighs for the oil/fat needed to brown the rice before adding the liquid. Think of making rice pilaf (credit to Rachel Ray and Food Network)where you brown the rice in oil before you actually cook it.

Time to start cooking!

Ok, now we can start this tasty side dish! Now that you have the oil in the pot and have added the rice, keep it on low heat, so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom. You can then dice up the onion and pepper to add once the rice is a nice golden brown or at least starting to brown a bit.

enameled pot with rice, peppers in oil

Rice, peppers in oil before adding the stock, water and spices.

Once the rice is done and you have added the onions and peppers, to where they are a nice and browned. You can add the chicken stock to the mix. Usually rice is cooked with enough liquid to puff it up again. The ratio is usually about 2 cups liquid for every cup of rice. Using that rule of thumb for a cup and a half of rice, will need about three and a half cups of liquid. I would short the half cup a few tablespoons, due to the liquid that you will be getting from the chicken skin if using that. Plus it makes it a bit more sticky than by having too much wetness. You could end up with a mushy rice! Please don’t do that, if you can. If it’s your first time making rice. Chalk it up to learning experience.

A bit of insight

Cooking rice is one of those skills, like an egg. You just have to practice. I honestly can make rice, if I have been making it regularly. With a skill like a seasoned chef. Otherwise, I am like everyone else who is new. It does come out either crunchy or mushy. If you feel you want to avoid such mistakes or try to lower the chance of this happening. Read the rice package. This way you can make sure your rice comes out ok.

Hey, if you have mushy rice, grab some chorizo and some eggs with large tortillas and make breakfast burritos! ( I will have that recipe later. Favorite quick breakfast for those busy mornings).

Ok, prep cooks, this is where it gets fun. Once you have the package read, fears doubted a few times and just ready to do it. Add the chicken stock. to the rice, you should hear the sizzle go away and cover the rice. You don’t have to use all chicken stock. It does make for a nice flavor. Add your spices and leave out the tomato sauce for right now.

shredded chicken on a cutting board

Chicken shredded to add to the rice with the chicken stock.

Almost ready

After a bit the rice will be almost done and ready for the tomato sauce. You will see that the rice will be getting dry and no liquid that you can see. You can use a fork and pull away in the center of the pot to make sure it is done with all the liquid. I would recommend to resist the urge to check and just trust your instinct. Once it is done and all the liquid is gone, the rice is done and you can add the tomato sauce. The amount to add of the tomato sauce depends on how much sauce you may want. I say just enough to cover for about 1 can of sauce for about a cup and half of cooked rice.

So now that your rice is done and you have added your sauce. You are ready to serve this side dish for the tacos, or what every you may be having. Enjoy!

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