Mexican Rice Pilaf

  • Serves

    serves 8


We based this recipe on one that appears in Seasons of My Heart: A Culinary Journey Through Oaxaca, Mexico (Ballantine, 1999) by the Oaxaca-based cook Susana Trilling, who sometimes serves this piquant, aromatic rice dish at her Thanksgiving dinners.


  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 5 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 medium white onions, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 chile de árbol
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 2 12 cups chicken broth
  • 14 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 14 cup parsley, finely chopped


Step 1

Melt the butter in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the celery, onions, and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, chiles, cumin, pepper, bay leaves, and chile de árbol and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, 3–4 minutes.

Step 2

Add the rice and broth, season with salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Add cilantro and parsley and fluff rice with a fork before serving.

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