This recipe can use any rice but I find the best rice to use is basmati, it has both a texture and taste that compliment the saffron. Before you commit to making the alluring recipe be aware that saffron is expensive and good saffron can be hard to find. When you see the few threads you pay $20 – $30 for, you’ll think your buying drugs in a vial. The good news is you don’t need much saffron so your dish won’t be as expensive as the up front costs. The best saffron I ever found was in an African street market in Marseilles, France. It was so cheap I bought enough to last until the next time I am in Marseilles.
For a lot of people, making rice involves digging out their seldom used rice cooker and setting the timer, we don’t do that here. This recipe sautés the rice before simmering in liquid using a sauté pan. This way we open up the rice grains and let the saffron cook in before adding the liquid. It’s a common technique used in making rice dishes.
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 1 TBL olive oil
- 1 clove garlic – smashed
- 3 – 4 threads saffron (soaked in hot water)
- 32 oz chicken stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mise en Place – measure and prepare your ingredients prior to starting.
- Rinse the rice in cold water to clean and wash away surface starch, then drain off the excess water.
- Soak saffron in 4oz of steaming hot water covered with film. Let brew while rice cooks.
- Heat a sauté pan over medium heat, once warm add the rice, oil and garlic. Stir and toast the rice ~ 2 mins., then add the saffron and continue until saffron coats rice, ~ 2 mins.
- Add the chicken stock. If it does not fill about 1/2-inch over the rice add additional water.
- Bring to a boil, and then lower to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 mins.
- Remove from the heat and let stand 5 mins, covered.
- Fluff with a fork and season with salt and pepper to taste.