There are as many ways to prepare rice as there are families and cultures on the planet. The deceptively simple grain, with its straightforward cooking directions and versatile taste, can be adapted and reinvented through generations.
When I first met my wife, I was astounded at how they prepared their white rice, since termed “Chilean rice” in our family. I only needed a few bites to get hooked and through the years, I put my own touches on the recipe.
The taste of the rice is firm and fluffy, not unlike stir-fried rice, and the individual grains will not stick together when prepared. Let’s have a look at the work necessary for this awesome dish:
You’ll need the following ingredients to make my own version of Chilean rice:
- Long-grain white rice (1 cup feeds about 4 people)
- Water, can be warm or hot water from the faucet (at a 2-to-1 ratio to the rice)
- Your favorite oil (I use olive), about 2-3 tablespoons or more depending on amount of rice
- Badia complete seasoning (very versatile, available at any supermarket, typically in the Spanish spices section), to taste
- Garlic salt with parsley (also my favorite choice for seafood crusts), to taste
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon butter per 1 cup of rice (optional, adds a rich taste to the rice)
Getting Your Rice On
- Heat up a sauce pan large enough to hold everything on medium-high to high heat.
- Prepare the Badia and garlic salt (unscrew the caps), as well as the water ahead of time.
- Add all of the oil to the pot (I wait until the pot is about halfway heated).
- Wait about 15-20 seconds, then place all of the white rice in the pot.
- Now the fun part–use a flat spatula and slide the rice around vigorously in the pot as it fries. The rice will start to turn a whiter color–don’t stop stirring or you’ll burn it.
- Add the complete seasoning and garlic salt about 2 minutes later (continue to stir).
- Fry the rice for about 3-4 minutes in total. You want to have most of the rice turn white, but avoid burning it. If it starts to turn brown, you’ve fried too long and move to the next step right away.
- Pour all of the water over the rice (be careful, as it will sizzle up from thermal shock).
- The water will come to a boil rapidly. While you wait, add the bay leaves and butter and give it a stir.
- Cover up the rice and reduce heat to a low simmer.
- Stir about 2-3 times during the cooking process, which usually takes 20-30 minutes. You’ll know you’re done when all the water has been absorbed and the rice has a semi-firm, fluffy texture.
Photo credits: Calgary Reviews