Rice is a blank canvas just waiting to be bombarded with flavor. A few simple steps are necessary to make plain rice into great rice. Measure your ingredients correctly, not enough water and your rice will be hard on the outside and mushy on the inside. Sauteing your uncooked rice in a little bit of fat keeps it from sticking together when it is done cooking. When you put the lid on to cook the rice, leave it alone. The steam the lid creates helps to cook the rice. Set a timer for the allotted time and walk away until it goes off. Fluff your rice using a fork before serving.
Heat your pan over medium heat. Melt the butter or olive oil. Add rice, stir to coat in the butter or olive oil, and chicken stock. Add 2 cups of chicken stock for every 1 cup of rice. Bring the rice to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium low.. Set a timer for 20 minutes. If you are serving grilled or roasted meats, this dish has plenty of flavor from the chicken stock.
Flavor your rice with different liquids for extra flavor. Try adding orange juice, beef or seafood stock, some white or red wine or canned tomatoes in their juice. Or you can add a seasoning blend, like taco or greek, directly to the broth. When changing up your liquids, stay true to original 1 cup rice to 2 cups liquid ratio.
Add aromatics to enhance the flavor of your rice. Saute onions, celery, carrots, garlic or bell peppers before you add in the rice. Stir in olives, scallions, pesto, roasted peppers or fresh herbs after the rice has already cooked.
The ways to flavor rice are endless. If you are using certain ingredients in another recipe just mimic them in the basic pilaf dish.