Instant rice is quick and easy, but it can’t beat the real thing as far as taste and nutritional value. There are a variety of ways to prepare rice, from rice cookers to steamers, but for most, rice is not prepared that often and a simple stove top method is adequate.
- Chicken, seafood or beef stock (optional)
- Butter or oil (optional)
Note: It’s a good idea to rinse the rice in a strainer before cooking. It’s not necessary to do this as it washes away some of the nutrients, however, rinsing beforehand will prevent sticking which allows for easier handling and cleanup.
The general rule of thumb is 2 parts water per 1 part of rice. You can vary the ratio based upon preference of texture. More water will produce softer rice, less water for a firmer result.
Bring the water to a boil in a pot large enough to accommodate the rice after it expands from cooking. The rice will expand to roughly 5 times the original volume.
Stir rice, salt, butter (optional) and stock of choice (also optional) into the boiling water, reduce to low heat and cover.
Allow to cook on low heat for 20 to 25 minutes for white rice, 30 to 45 minutes for brown rice, 45 to 60 minutes for wild rice, leaving the pot covered through the duration as the steam is essential for cooking the rice thoroughly.
When the rice has cooked to the desired texture, turn off the heat, remove the lid and fluff with a fork, allowing the rice to cool momentarily before serving.
Cooked rice is extremely versatile and will keep refrigerated for several days. Garnish with parsley and serve as a side, add cooked vegetables, or use it as a bed for a main entree such as Chicken Cacciatore, red beans, or an Etouffee – the possibilities are endless.