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Rice with Spanish Sausages

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Fabulous and simple as this is, it never fails to bring the house down. Rice has such a mellow flavor that it can frame whatever goes in it. In this case the paprika and garlic from the chorizo perfume the rice. Rice in our house is always a side or accompaniment, but this dish is so satisfying that it can be a meal for me.

NotesAlcaparrado, a mixture of olives, pimientos, and capers sold in bottles, is widely available. There are versions made with pitted and unpittled olives. Go for the pitted version. If you can't find it, substitute an equal amount of coarsely chopped olives suffed with pimientos. Throw in a teaspoon of capers if you like.

Culantro is not cilantro. It has long leaves with tapered tips and serrated edges. When it comes to flavor, culantro is like cilantro times ten.

Makes10 regular or 8 daisy servings

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 1 hour

One Pot MealYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, game day

Recipe Coursemain course, side dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Texturegarlicky, herby, salty, smoky, spiced

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chorlzo, andouille, or any smoked garlicky sausage, cut in half lengthwise and then crosswise into ¼-inch slices
  • ½ cup Sofrito 
  • ¼ cup alcaparrado or coarsely chopped pimiento-stuffed olives (see Notes)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons fine sea or kosher salt
  • 4 cups long-grain rice
  • Chicken broth, homemade  or store-bought, as needed (about 5½ cups)
  • 4 fresh culantro leaves (see Notes)  or 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Piece of banana leaf (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place the chorizo in a cold 4- to 5-quart heavy pot and set the pot over medium heat. When the chorizo has rendered some of its fat and is sizzling, stir in the sofrito. Cook until the water has evaporated and the sofrito begins to sizzle.

  2. Stir in the alcaparrado, cumin, and salt. Cook 1 or 2 minutes, then stir in the rice. When the rice is chalky, pour in enough broth to cover by the width of two fingers. Bring to a boil and cook until the level of liquid meets the rice. Add the culantro leaves and give the rice a big stir. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot.

  3. Cook until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Stir the rice and serve.

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