Arroz Amarillo
Basic Puerto Rican Cooking 101

 

Traditionally puertorriqueños use achiote seeds (annato) to give food a rich color. If achiote is not available use 1 pkt Sazón Goya with annato.

 

4 Tbps achiote oil
2½ cups rice 
4½ cups chicken stock or water
2 teaspoons salt


Rinse the rice using a metal strainer and shake off excess water and save until needed.
Bring the liquid to a boil and set aside.

Infusing Oil with achiote:. Heat the 2 tbsp seeds and oil in a medium caldero over low heat, swirling pan frequently, until the oil turns bright red-orange in color. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes and then remove from heat. Let it cool for about 5 minutes then remove seeds and discard (my mother used then a second time for more achiote oil).

Heat oil in a caldero cooking for a minute or so, then add the rice (careful, will splatter) and cook for 2 minutes or so stiring now and then. Add liquid, Sazón, and salt.

How much liquid to add is the question. Water line should be about 1" above rice line. Too much water means rice will be sticky. Too little water and it won't cook through. Stir a few times to mix ingredients.

Cook over high heat until water evaporates, then stir once or twice (too much stirring and rice might get sticky or amogollao), bring the heat down to low. Make a volcano-like mound on the rice then cover and cook another 20 minutes or so. That's it!

* Other suggestions. You can use beef or chicken broth to enhance the flavor and/or use bacon grease instead of vegetable oil. (Both my grandmothers used bacon grease and they lived to a very healthy 95 or so years. My great-grandmother cooked the same way and she lived way past 105). You can even add more than ¼ cup grease or oil - it will take better and be more grainy. If you don't have achiote and can't find Sazón, use a bit of tomato sauce until the rice turns yellow, too much sauce will make it red. Note, most Kroger stores now have a Goya isle.

If your rice is not quite done, sprinkle some water on top and keep cooking another 5 minutes.

If rice seems too moist, raise the temperate and cook uncovered for another 5 minutes or so.