One of my mother’s signature dishes is her Spanish rice, a delicious accompaniment to steak, chicken, and Mexican entrees such as tacos or enchiladas. Spanish rice is prepared by browning the rice first with onions and garlic, before cooking it in chicken stock with added tomato. The browning is essential to the nutty, almost toasty flavor of the rice. And although bouillon can be substituted for the chicken stock, nothing beats homemade chicken stock, the rich flavor of which is absorbed by the rice.
Spanish Rice Recipe
My mother browns the rice in a separate pan from the pot she uses to heat the stock. This is just to save time. You could easily brown the rice and onions, and add cold stock and tomatoes to it, bring to a simmer, cover and cook, all in one pot.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (can use up to 1/4 cup)
- 1 onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 cups of medium or long-grain white rice
- 3 cups* chicken stock (or vegetable stock if vegetarian)
- 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste or 1 cup of diced fresh or cooked tomatoes, strained
- Pinch of oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
*Check the instructions on the rice package for the proportions of liquid to rice. They can range from 1:1 to 2:1. If your rice calls for 2 cups of water for every cup of rice, then for this recipe, use 4 cups of stock for 2 cups of rice.
1 Heat olive oil in large skillet on medium/high heat. Add the rice and stir it so that the rice is lightly coated with the oil. Cook on medium high heat, stirring often, until much of the rice has browned. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently another 3 minutes, until the onions begin to soften. Add the garlic and cook until the onions are translucent and softened, about a minute more.
2 In a separate sauce pan bring stock to a simmer. (Do this while the rice is browning to save time.) Add tomato sauce, oregano, and salt. Add rice to broth. Bring to a simmer. Cover. Lower heat and cook 15-25 minutes, depending on the type of rice and the instructions on the rice package. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
Fluff with a fork or spoon to serve.