My recipe for flavorful, fluffy Mexican rice. For added aromatics, try this using basmati rice (I don't recommend Jasmine rice, as it is a sticky rice more suitable for Asian dishes).
- 1⁄2 medium onion
- 1⁄2 green bell peppers, seeded or 1 large seeded jalapeno pepper
- 2 -3 tablespoons cilantro leaves (one large fistful)
- 2 tablespoons hickory bacon drippings
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 1⁄2 cups long grain rice (soaked, rinsed, drained, see Step 1)
- 2 -3 fresh garlic cloves, mashed (use garlic press)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt (if omitting bacon drippings, use 1 tsp salt)
- 1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cumin
- NOTE: DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP IF YOU WANT FLUFFY RICE! MEASURE 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice into a large re-sealable container; COVER rice completely with very hot water; REPLACE lid and let rice sit for 15 minutes; DRAIN rice in a large mesh sieve; RINSE rice under constantly running cold water for 1-2 minutes; ALLOW rice to drain well.
- SET oven rack in the center position; PREHEAT oven to 350°F.
- IN the large bowl of a food processor with the blade intact, add 1/2 medium onion, 1/2 (seeded) green bell pepper (or 1 large seeded fresh jalapeno pepper), and one large fistful of fresh cilantro leaves; PULSE vegetables until finely chopped.
- IN a large, heavy oven-safe pot (with an accompanying tight-fitting lid) add 2 tablespoons hickory bacon drippings and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or 3 tablespoons vegetable oil); WARM fat over medium heat.
- ADD the rinsed drained rice to pot; SAUTE, stirring often just until rice begins to turn light golden; MEANWHILE, crush 2-3 garlic cloves using a garlic press; MASH crushed garlic in a small bowl with 1/2 teaspoon salt using a small spoon, until a paste is made; STIR paste into rice.
- ADD the chopped PROCESSOR INGREDIENTS to the RICE SAUTE; COOK just until the onion has softened, stirring as needed.
- ADD the SEASONED BROTH ingredients to the RICE SAUTE (One 14-ounce can chicken broth (1 3/4 cups), one 8-ounce can tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin; STIR.
- BRING mixture to a full rolling boil; COVER rice; TRANSFER rice to preheated oven; BAKE for 30-35 minutes.
- REMOVE pot from oven using hand mitts; FLUFF rice with a fork lightly; SERVE.
- SNAP your fingers and shout "OLE!".