Place a heavy skillet over high heat; add whole tomatoes and cook until skins char and split and tomatoes become aromatic. Transfer tomatoes to a blender or food processor and puree. Stir in cilantro and set aside. (You should have at least 4 1/2 cups.).
In a large saucepan over high heat, heat oil to just below the smoking point; stir in rice and onion. Saute until most of the rice grains have turned a bright white or started to brown, 6 to 9 minutes. (Reduce heat slightly if rice is browning too quickly.).
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, stir together water, garlic, chipotle puree, salt and the tomato puree. Bring to a boil.
Stir tomato mixture into rice, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat, cover and let stand until tender, 20 to 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
Note: Empty a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce into a blender or food processor and pulse until pureed. Freeze the unused portion for later use in salsa, sauces or queso dip, or use to season soups, stews or chili.