What you will need:
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1-2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 carrot, shredded or diced
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (To coat the pan)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 packet Goyo Sazon Mexican seasoning
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup diced tomatoes (you can substitute with 1tbsp tomato paste or 1 cup strained canned tomatoes)
- 2 cups medium or long grain white rice
- 3 1/2 cups chicken broth or 3 1/2 cups water and chicken flavoring (I like to use Knorr Home-style concentrate or Swanson’s Flavor Boost you can keep them in the pantry and use single packets as necessary)
- Hot sauce (always optional, but I love it!)
Under medium heat, sauté the onions, celery, carrots and garlic in a medium stock pan with EVOO for a couple of minutes. (This is called a Mira Pois and is a classic French technique to add flavor to soups, stews or any slow cooked meal.)
Then add rice, butter, chili powder, and cumin and continue to sauté for a few minutes, stirring frequently. All the vegetables should be soft by now. Let the ingredients marry together. Your house should smell good at this point.
Add 3 1/2 cups of the chicken broth (or water and chicken flavoring). Then, add the tomatoes and Goyo Sazon seasoning packet, salt and bring to a boil.
Now, taste the liquid at this point…it will give you a good idea of what the rice will taste like. Add salt if necessary (I also like to add a couple of dashes of hot sauce to bring some heat to the rice!)
Give it one final stir and then put a lid on your pan and reduce the heat to a simmer.
**DO NOT remove the lid at any time during the cooking process. Just keep an eye out until all the water is absorbed. This is the most important thing to remember about rice!
Once the water is absorbed (this could take about 15-20 minutes), remove from heat and let stand with lid on, for about 5 minutes. This allows any of the liquid on the bottom to absorb into the rice, without burning it.
Remove the lid and let stand for about 5 more minutes, and then fluff with fork. Enjoy.