Arroz a la Mexicana (Mexican Rice)

This is an easy recipe for rice.  I know that there are packaged rices that are really good, but for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner I prefer to go with “scratch-made.”  For years I have finagled the process because I didn’t have a Dutch oven.  I would use a cast iron skillet and then transfer the mixture into a stone bowl and flip a round stone baker over that for a lid and bake it.  This year I finally bought a Dutch oven and oh my it is so much easier now!  Love my Dutch oven!  But I digress, this is about the rice…



2 cups salsa
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups white rice, uncooked
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a 3-quart, oven-proof saucepan or small Dutch oven (with lid), heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the rice and cook, stirring regularly, until the rice is chalky looking, about 5 minutes.  If some kernels brown, it’s okay.
2.  Add the salsa–I use this recipe or just use any roasted tomato and jalapeno salsa–and stir for a minute as the salsa sears and reduces a little.
3.  Add the broth and a teaspoon of salt.  Bring to a boil, stir once, scraping down any rice that is on the sides of the pan.  Cover tightly and bake for 25 minutes.  Rice is done if you can bite into a grain and it is nearly cooked through. 
4.  If rice is ready, cover and let stand out of the oven for 5-10 minutes longer to finish cooking.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of fresh chopped cilantro over the rice, then use a fork to fluff rice and fold in the cilantro.
Okay, here is a picture of my new Dutch oven.  Isn’t it pretty?  Better Homes and Gardens at Walmart….
Source: Rick Bayless’ Mexican Kitchen.

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