You wouldn’t know it from visiting most Mexican restaurants here in Texas, but not all Mexican rice is red. Arroz Verde (or green rice) is another typical rice recipe found in Mexico, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s the best way to eat it.
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The brighter flavors of the fresh chiles and spinach can be an excellent contrast for meat-heavy dishes that include a lot of dried chiles.
If you’ve had green rice before, you might know that there are as many recipes for it as there are cooks. Some include tomatillos, which add a tart and acidic kick.
I generally don’t put tomatillos in mine but rather use fresh limes on the side to squeeze over the top.
This recipe is super simple, with just a few steps. The only tip I would offer on this one is to use a high-sided pot or splatter screen when you dump in the green sauce. It can make a mess, otherwise.
Arroz Verde (Green Rice)
- 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup cilantro - lightly packed
- 2 large poblano chiles - stems, seeds, and veins removed; roughly chopped
- 1 clove garlic - chopped
- 2 tbsp. white onion - diced
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- Rinse rice well in a rice strainer.
- Add the water, spinach, cilantro, poblanos, onion, and garlic to a blender jar. Blend on high until smooth Add water if necessary to get everything to pass through the blades.
- Heat the oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the rice and fry, stirring constantly until beginning to turn a light golden color. About 3-4 minutes. Drain off oil (pouring it through a fine-mesh sieve makes it easy).
- Add the green sauce to the pot and fry, stirring constantly until most of the liquid has evaporated. About 5 minutes. Be careful for splatters, especially when you first pour it in. Add the stock and salt (you can get the last of the green sauce out of the blender jar by sloshing the stock in there before pouring it into the pot). Cover and cook over low heat for about 25 minutes. Test for doneness, then fluff with a fork and serve.
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