Mexican Rice

By • November 24, 2009 • 9 Comments

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Author Notes: I’ll admit it – I judge Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants by the quality of their rice. I grew up on what I think is the best, served up by my Grandma (no bias here), which is present at practically every family meal that comes forth from her kitchen. The technique for cooking it is similar to making a risotto, as the grains of rice are toasted in oil before any liquid is added, which gives the finished rice a nice texture and flavor. Grandma always uses Knorr chicken flavored bouillon cubes, but in the interest of cutting out some of the additives, I’ve adapted this recipe to use a rich chicken stock, adding a bit of toasted tomato paste to boost the savoriness – my best version of a dish that is, for us, a family treasure.lastnightsdinner

Serves 6-8

  • 2 tablespoons rendered lard or bacon fat or vegetable/canola oil
  • 1.5 cups yellow or white onion, peeled and diced
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon double-concentrated tomato paste
  • 1-2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 4 cups rich chicken stock, or bouillon dissolved in water
  1. Warm the fat over medium heat in a wide, lidded saucepan.
  2. Add the onion, season with a pinch of salt, and cook until softened.
  3. Add the rice and garlic, stirring to coat the grains with the melted fat, and cook until the garlic is golden and the rice is toasted and beginning to turn translucent.
  4. Clear a spot in the bottom of the pan and add the tomato paste, allowing it to toast briefly before stirring it through the rice.
  5. Combine the black pepper, the stock, the tomato puree, and another pinch or two of salt, then add them to the pan, stirring well to incorporate.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and continue cooking until the rice is tender and all liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat, fluff with a fork, and let the rice finish in the covered pot for about 10-15 minutes before serving.
Jump to Comments (9)

Tags: mexican, Side Dishes, Tex-Mex

Comments (9) Questions (0)

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over 2 years ago kins

I made your recipe today for a Mexican dinner with asparagus tamales. I did add a small amount of chipotle powder. Everyone loved it. It's a keeper for me.

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over 2 years ago Johnny Ringo

This was absolutely fantastic! I was worried that it would be bland, but it wasn't at all. This is my new go-to Mexican rice recipe...thank you so much for sharing this, it really is a treasure!

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almost 3 years ago MellyHBee

So delicious. I have never been able to make a good Mexican rice even though many people have tried to teach me. This was easy and so flavorful.

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almost 5 years ago Jennine

I have made your recipe on many occasions since I first read about it on your blog. It's delicious!

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almost 5 years ago lastnightsdinner

Thank you - I'm so glad you like it!

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almost 5 years ago KelseyTheNaptimeChef

I love mexican rice and have always wanted an authentic recipe. Thanks for sharing!!

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almost 5 years ago lastnightsdinner

You're welcome, and I hope you enjoy it!

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almost 5 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

I love the idea of toasting the tomato paste! As soon as the turkey leftovers are gone, I'm making this rice. YUM. Thank you for sharing your family treasure.

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almost 5 years ago lastnightsdinner

Thank you! I employ Lidia Bastianich's method of toasting or caramelizing tomato paste in all sorts of dishes, and it works really well here, I think. I hope you enjoy this!