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Authentic Mexican Rice Recipe, A Meal in Itself!

Updated on October 19, 2010

Great as a Side or by Itself!

Authentic Mexican rice is an easy title, but hard to prove. This one comes from a co-worker named Martha, although I guess I have changed it over time. I have lost touch with Martha-she made me laugh everyday for many years- and everytime I make it, I think of her and I smile. It is wonderful as a side dish with almost any Mexican food, but the leftovers are so good for lunch the next day.

Comfort Food at Its Best!

  1. 1 cup of long grain white rice
  2. 1/2 of an onion, diced
  3. 3 cloves of garlic, diced
  4. 1 cup of diced ham, any kind, even lunch meat ham
  5. 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, depends on how salty your ham and chicken broth are, so start with a little-you can add more later, if necessary
  6. 2 cups of chicken broth
  7. 1 can of diced tomatoes or whole tomatoes, 10-14 ounce size, with liquid
  8. 1 can of diced, green chiles (I use Ortega)
  9. 3 Tablespoons of olive oil

Put the olive oil in a large pot that has a tight fitting lid. Heat the oil. Add the onions, garlic and red pepper flakes. Saute until the onions are tender, being careful not to burn the garlic. When the onions are tender, add the diced ham and continue to saute that as well. The idea is to get the flavors to combine. After about 3 minutes, add the rice and stir it in to coat with the oil. You are supposed to saute the rice until it turns a light brown, but I do it a little less because I am always afraid of burning it. At this point, add the diced chiles, chicken broth, salt and tomatoes(if using whole tomatoes, break them up a little). Stir thoroughly. Bring this mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover the pot with a lid. After 15-20 minutes, remove the lid and give it a stir. This will give you an opportunity to judge how much longer the rice will need to absorb the liquid, usually about 10 more minutes.

Don't worry if your finished product looks a little bit more liquidy than your normal rice dishes. It is supposed to have that saucy feel to it. After 30 minutes, remove this from the heat and take a little taste. This is the time to add any extra salt, if you need it. It is also the time to grab a bowl of the rice and eat it before you serve your family. As the cook, it is your responsibility to make sure that anything you cook is good enough for everyone else. This is just the cook's way of maintaining quality control! Leave the lid on the pot until the rest of dinner is done.

To reheat any leftovers, a minute or two in the microwave works great. This will serve up to 6 or 8 as a side dish and maybe 4 as a main dish. I know that the original recipe Martha gave me had some tomato buillion in it, but I stopped using it after I ran out of the first little jar was gone. Haven't missed it at all.


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  • Jillian Barclay profile image

    Jillian Barclay 7 years ago from California, USA

    The same thing your breadsticks recipe did to me! I wanted them for breakfast! I know carbs are to be in moderation, but sometimes, just can't help myself! Especially on a cold, rainy day! Thank you!

  • Ingenira profile image

    Ingenira 7 years ago

    Just by reading the recipe, you make me hungry !

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Abecedarian profile image

    Abecedarian 7 years ago from These United States, Texas

    So true. My husbands boss is Italian, from Cicily and we were talking about italian dishes and he had no clue about what I was talking about.

  • Jillian Barclay profile image

    Jillian Barclay 7 years ago from California, USA

    Martha came from Mexico and said she always made this for her kids when they were growing up, because it had enough protein in it and was filling- she made her own chicken stock and used that. I think being an authentic Mexican is like being an authentic Italian (me)- different parts of Italy make dishes with the same title, but totally different ingredients. There are so many Italian dishes that I know by name and how my family made them, but when I look at other recipes, they look nothing like what my family makes.

    I am so glad the cake turned out good! It is quite chocolately!

  • Abecedarian profile image

    Abecedarian 7 years ago from These United States, Texas

    Well, I'm an authentic Mexican and I've never heard of this dish, but it sounds great. Will try. Oh, my daughter tried the cake recipe. Mmmmm Good.