Rice is perhaps the most common food staple in the world. It’s the single most consumed cereal grain on earth, and it’s many varieties are used in different cuisines the world over. I’ve been known to stuff my fat face with fried rice, red beans and rice, and even Rice Krispies a time or two. This particular side dish, while it won’t feed the world, will certainly liven up that boneless, skinless chicken breast that’s taking up space in your freezer.
Even though this rice dish is decidedly more hispanic with the poblano, it pairs well with pretty much any protein-based main course. It’s super-easy to make as well, making this another good option for the middle of the week.
Start by dicing up some garlic and a whole poblano pepper. Sautee that in some oil until nice and tender. Then add instant rice and stir constantly for several minutes. You’ll want the rice to start browning – but watch it carefully and stir a lot so it doesn’t burn. That would be just wasteful and lots of people all over the world could have used that rice, you know?
So while you have the rice going, you’re going to have some water in the microwave. Heat it for at least 2 minutes – you want it boiling hot. After you’ve fried the rice with the garlic and poblano for a good 5-10 minutes, remove the water from the microwave and slowly add it to the rice mixture. Careful not to splatter and burn yourself. Feel free to add chicken stock instead of water, or use a bouillon cube for extra flavor. I’m not the biggest fan of bouillon cubes, but not knock yourself out. Add some butter as well at this point.
At this point, cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid (tighter than Snooki’s pregnancy blouses) and let it stand for about 5-7 minutes. Long enough for all (or most of) the liquid to be absorbed. Once the liquid is absorbed – add some cream and cheese. I used monterey jack when I made this, only cause it’s what I had on hand. Pepper jack would be good here for an added kick, or most any cheese. The richer, the better, I say!
Give everything a good stir to combine, let it stand for a minute or so longer, while you fix your plates – and enjoy the most common food staple in the world. Now, doesn’t that feel good? Enjoy!
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 whole garlic clove,minced
- 1 whole poblano pepper, diced into small pieces
- 2 cups instant white rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 cube chicken bouillon cube (optional)
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup (or more) of monterey jack cheese
Heat oil in a medium pan. Once oil is heated, add garlic and poblano and sautee for about 2-4 minutes, until tender. Add rice to the pan, stirring constantly for about 5-8 more minutes. Rice will begin to brown in the oil. Stir and watch carefully so it doesn’t start to burn.
While frying rice, place the water in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 2 mins, or until water is hot and boiling. After rice has fried for 5-8 minutes, carefully add the water from the microwave, stirring into the rice mixture – add slowly as it might splatter up into your face! Add chicken cube and butter, stirring more.
Cover pan with lid and let stand 5-7 minutes until water is absorbed.
Remove lid and add cream and cheese at the end, mixing well. Cover and let stand for a couple more minutes. Serve and enjoy!