This is such a staple recipe in my house that I can’t believe I’ve never posted about it before. I can’t take credit for it; it’s one that I saw years ago on Alton Brown’s Good Eats, but I’ve modified it and tinkered with it and have variations that work for just about every situation.
This is a version that I use when I make the Texas Caviar – it’s a slightly al-dente rice, rather than a soft fluffy rice.
Start with your one cup of rice, measured into an ovenproof bowl. I use my Corning Ware bowl, but an 8×8 glass baking dish works well, too.
Add in one cup of boiling water.
Add about 1 tbsp of olive oil and stir well.
Then cover the bowl – either with a lid or some well fitted aluminium foil – and put in a 375 oven for about an hour. I often use my toaster oven for this rather than heating up the large main oven. At the end of the hour, check the rice to see if it’s done and the liquid has been absorbed.
If the liquid has been absorbed, remove the rice from the oven and fluff with a fork.
As I said, this version, 1 part water to 1 part rice, makes an al-dente rice that is perfect when mixed into cold salads or for a rice that’s added to a casserole that will then cook further in the oven. If you want a fluffier, moister rice, use 2 parts water to 1 part rice and you might need to increase the baking time by 10 or so minutes to make sure all the liquid is absorbed.
Finally … variations on this: as long as you maintain the proper proportions of liquid to rice, you can flavor the rice any way you want. Substitute broth or stock for the water. Mix in a can of Rotel for a Tex-Mex rice, I’ve even used beer or a bit of wine for some added flavor. Just make sure if you use something chunky like Rotel, you account for the volume of the tomatoes and peppers and add a little extra liquid.