We have all cooked rice, a grain that is centuries old. However, while it seems as if preparing the rice is simple, it’s anything but “simple.” Often, it is either too dry, too wet, or too crunchy. The solution? Baking the rice! Yes, baking has now become my successful way to prepare rice. After frying the rice first, and adding liquid ingredients, I pop it in the oven, and the result is surprising.
Baking rice allows for much experimentation, so I enjoy adding spices and various flavorings. My favorite is Mexican rice served at Mexican restaurants, so my first attempt was this recipe. The recipe was simple and easy and the result simply delicious.
The addition of poblano chiles gives a unique flavor and a definite kick! The rice might be slightly sticky, but if you prefer a fluffier rice, remove the cover towards the end of the cooking time, to allow the extra moisture to evaporate.
This green rice is a perfect accompaniment to fajitas, tacos or any Mexican dish as well as an excellent side dish to any beef, chicken, pork, or seafood.
Recipe inspired by Epicurious.
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Add butter and oil in a 2-quart saucepan.
Over medium heat, saute onion and rice until onion is translucent and rice is golden, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook one more minute.
Pour rice mixture into a 8×8 baking dish, cover and set aside.
Wipe the saucepan clean and combine the broth and chiles.
Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on medium low until chiles are soft, about 15-20 minutes.
Pour the chile mixture into a food processor or blender and add the cilantro.
Process until the mixture is smooth and free of clumps.
Add salt to taste.
Add the chile liquid to the rice, stir and mix well.
Cover baking dish and place in preheated oven.
Bake for 50 minutes; as oven temperatures vary, check for doneness at 40 minutes, and then in 5 minute increments.
Fluff with a fork and serve in a warmed serving dish.