Now we are going to explore rice and the different and sure fire way to prepare it.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack placed in the middle part of the oven.
First off is a pilaf. This is the basic rice dish and consists of 1 part raw long grain rice to 2 cups of liquid. This ratio is how you can cook rice without getting a soupy finished product. The liquid I am going to use is a good strong chicken stock, one you have made from simmering bones with the added vegetables such as onion, carrot, celery, garlic, etcetera. Herbs used here are pepper corns, bay leaf, and salt to taste. This stock should only be simmered for 1 ½ to 2 hours skimming off the impurities as the float to the surface. Again never bring this stock to the boil or it will be cloudy and an inferior product. Always start your stock with cold water to draw out the flavour in the stuff you add as I have stated before in the (About) section. This stock can be made ahead of times and frozen for use later as any other stock you make.
Now for the rice now that we have got the stock out of the way.
What you will need.
A pot capable of holding 3 times the volume of product with a tight fitting lid that can be placed in the oven, placed on a burner turned up to high for sauté. Add the below
3 tablespoons of butter.
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
½ large onion small diced.
1 sweet carrot dice small
1 toe of garlic crushed and chopped small
1 bay leaf.
2 times the volume of chicken stock set on a burner to simmer. We will use a one cup measure so one cup of rice to two cups of stock. Place the butter and oil in the pan and as soon as the butter foams up add the onion, as soon as the onion is translucent add the garlic and sauté do not brown. Now add the carrot and bay leaf and continue sautéing until the carrot still has a bit of a bite to it. Now add the raw rice and continue to sauté until the tips of the rice become white. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. As soon as the pot begins to boil cover with the lid and place the pot in the oven. Let it cook for 20 minutes to ½ hour without checking the pot. Do not take the lid off while cooking. This will allow the steam to escape and the rice will not cook right. It will have bones in it as they say.
You can add to it chopped green onion when it is done. You can also add any vegetable you wish depending on what you are serving with it. I have added granny smith apple for pork as well as sliced almond and even half seeded grapes for stuffing chicken breast to this once cooked, I have used only half of the stock needed and added apple, orange or grape juice to make up the difference in liquid. You can add mint to it for lamb or just a melody of vegetables for those of you who do not eat meat and I know I have a few of you out there. Next we will be making Paella a Spanish rice dish that will be a meal all by its self.