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Spanish Rice Recipe

Spanish rice is that loose term for any rice dish that is sort of red and is typically served alongside Mexican food.  My college friend, Marti, used to get giant casseroles of Spanish Rice from her childhood nanny which fed people for days.  Locha’s rice was legendary.  Or maybe we were just hungry and almost no one knew how to cook at that point in time.  Growing up in Peoria, Mexican food was scarce so Spanish Rice was never really on my radar.  Over time several people have told me their version of this recipe and strangely for years it was really tricky to master!  My rice was either bland or crunchy or wet or just boring.  This version is my go to and a compilation of many along the way.  I feel strongly about using jasmine rice and the importance of heating your stock before adding to the rice.

This recipe is party size – perfect for a large gathering, you can scale it down, dividing it by 4 and using a smaller pan (think cake pan size like 8×8).  If you use a glass pan, versus a disposable aluminum foil one, note that cook time may be a little bit longer.  Great as a side with chimichangas [1], enchiladas [2], crunchy tacos [3], or fish tacos [4].

Spanish Rice Recipe

serves 20

2 tbsp olive oil

large white onion, diced

3 c. jasmine rice (I prefer the texture on this rice over any other)

2 cans diced tomatoes

4.5 c. chicken stock

3 tsp kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400.  Heat a stainless steel skillet over medium heat.  Add olive oil, heat until fragrant.  Add diced onion, saute 4 minutes.  Add rice, stir with a wooden spatula to combine, then saute another 5 minutes.  Pour rice mixture into bottom of a large disposable aluminum foil pan, either a deep half-size steam table pan or a deep, large lasagna pan will work.  The size on these pans will be something along the lines of 12 x 10 x 3 or 13 x 9 x 2 3/4. Drain tomatoes and pour over rice.  Heat chicken stock until steaming – either in glass in the microwave or in a sauce pan on the stove. Pour hot stock over the rice mixture, stir, and sprinkle kosher salt evenly over the surface.  Cover pan with heavy duty aluminum foil and place in preheated oven. Bake for an hour.  Stir and serve.