It took me many, many years to really grasp the concept of making GOOD rice. Authentic Mexican and Cuban restaurant quality rice was something I always wanted to achieve, yet I never truly understood or figured it out until I had spoken with a woman of Mexican heritage who taught me the right way - and I've never looked back! If you want great rice, give this recipe a try. The rinsing and frying method makes all the difference in the world when it comes to rice - no matter what style you desire to make.
Rinse the rice in a mesh colander thoroughly to remove all of the surface starch. This step alone can improve your rice dramatically, no matter what type of rice dish you are choosing to make. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. You may want to dig your hands through the rice, moving it around to really rinse it well. Drain the rice well.
In a large pot with a tight fitting lid, heat 3 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat down to about 4, or medium low. Meanwhile as the water is heating, in a frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until very hot. Add in the onion and cook for about 1 minute, and then add in the rice to the frying pan. Frying the rice before boiling the rice is commonplace in Spanish and Latin kitchens, though many people are not aware of this ever important step. Fry the rice, stirring with a wooden spoon, for about 4-5 minutes.
Add to the rice the chicken boullion packets and Sazon Goya packets, and stir well. Be sure all of the rice is evenly coated with the seasoning.
Transfer the rice to the boiling water, stir once, and cover with the lid. DO NOT open the lid until the rice is done, which will be about 20 minutes. The rice relies on the steam to thoroughly cook through, and by removing the lid, you will allow the steam to escape. Once done, fluff with the back of a fork, and serve with black beans and chicken, pork chops, or anything you like.
Optional: You can add 1/2 C of frozen mixed vegetables to the rice if you'd like to. Just add them when you are in the stage of frying the rice, to the rice, and transfer to the hot water together.