This is from Diana Kennedy's book, "From My Mexican Kitchen". I usually have varying results when I make rice but this recipe made it come out perfectly. It is tender like my dad likes it and sprinkled with a touch of carrots and peas like my Nana used to make. It can be prepared several hours ahead and then reheated. Leftovers can be frozen for a couple of weeks without losing flavor. Do not thaw before reheating; put the frozen rice directly into the pan so you do not lose the flavor in the melting juices.
- 1 1⁄2 cups long-grain white rice
- 1⁄4-1⁄3 cup vegetable oil
- 8 ounces tomatoes, roughly chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped white onion
- 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
- 3 1⁄2 cups chicken broth
- 1 small carrot, trimmed, scraped, and thinly sliced (optional)
- 2 tablespoons peas (optional)
- 1 sprig parsley (optional)
- 2 serrano chilies, left whole (optional)
- salt, to taste
- For this quantity of rice you will need a flameproof pan about 4 inches (10 cm) deep and 9 inches (23 cm) across. Pour hot water to cover over the rice and let soak for about 5 minutes. Strain, rinse in cold water, and strain again. Be sure to shake the strainer well to remove the excess water. Do not do this step ahead of time or the rice will become too damp.
- Heat the oil in the pan and stir in the rice - it should sizzle as it touches the oil. Stir until the grains are evenly coated and continue frying over medium heat until they sound brittle and are just starting to turn golden, about 10 minutes. Tip the pan to one side and drain off the excess oil.
- Meanwhile, put the tomatoes, onion, and garlic into a blender jar and blend until smooth. Stir the puree into the rice and continue frying over fairly high heat, scraping the bottom of the pan to avoid sticking, until the mixture has been absorbed, about 5 minutes.
- Add the broth and the optional ingredients; stir the rice well, adjust the salt, cover the pan, and cook over medium heat until all the broth has been absorbed - air holes will probably form. Carefully dig to the bottom of the rice with a fork to see if any moisture remains; if so, then continue cooking over low heat for a few minutes more. Set aside, still `covered, to give the rice a chance to continue steaming evenly for about 15 minutes.
- When serving, gently stir the rice from the bottom with a fork.