Orphan's Rice (Arroz Huerfano)

Orphan's Rice (arroz Huerfano)

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J. White Harris


In Mexico, (orphan's rice) arroz huerfano is often served at lunch or for a late, light supper, accompanied by a bowl of soup and perhaps some tacos.


★★★★★ 1 vote

15 Min
50 Min
Stove Top


  • 2-2/3 c
    chicken stock
  • ·
    pinch saffron threads (about 1/8 tsp.)
  • 3 Tbsp
    olive oil
  • 1-1/2 c
    long-grain rice
  • 1 Tbsp
    finely minced onion
  • 1 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 3/4 tsp
  • 1-1/2 oz
    bacon (about 1 thick slice or 2 thin slices)
  • 1-1/2 oz
    finely chopped ham (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 Tbsp
    unsalted butter
  • 3/4 c
    pecan halves
  • 1/2 c
    blanched slivered almonds
  • 1/3 c
    pine nuts
  • 1 Tbsp
    finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

How to Make Orphan's Rice (Arroz Huerfano)


  1. Heat the stock in a small saucepan until very hot but not boiling, and add the saffron. Turn off the heat and let the mixture sit for at least 10 min.
  2. Heat a medium-large, heavy-based pot or Dutch oven (with a good lid) over medium heat until hot, pour in the oil, and then add the rice and sauté, stirring frequently, until a few grains just begin to brown, about 3 to 4 min.
  3. Add the onion and garlic and cook 1 min., stirring constantly.
  4. Turn the heat to high, add the saffron broth and salt, bring to a boil, cover, turn the heat down to very low, and cook for 15 min.
  5. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, fry the bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels, chop finely, and mix with the ham.
  6. Pour out the grease from the pan and add the butter. Melt the butter over medium heat, add the pecans, almonds, and pine nuts, and sauté them, stirring frequently until the almonds begin to turn golden brown, 5 to 7 min. Don’t overcook the nuts or they’ll be bitter.
  7. When the rice has cooked 15 min., stir in the bacon and ham, sautéed nuts, and parsley, cover the pot, and take it off the heat. Let the rice steam in the covered pot for 10 min. Serve hot.

Printable Recipe Card

About Orphan's Rice (Arroz Huerfano)

Course/Dish: Nuts Other Snacks
Main Ingredient: Rice/Grains
Regional Style: Mexican
Other Tags: Quick & Easy For Kids
Hashtags: #Garlic #nuts #ham

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