Easy Saffron Rice

>>  Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I love shortcuts and saving time.

Perhaps it's because I like to do many things at once. Or perhaps it's because I value efficiency and hate waste. Or perhaps it's because I am naturally a procrastinator and therefore am always pressed for time!

Whatever the reasons, I've discovered a favorite easy way of making saffron rice with a rice cooker when I'm preparing it to serve with either veal osso bucco, braised lamb shanks, or any other dish that goes really well with this beautifully fragrant rice.

This recipe is super simple because I rely on the meat sauce to provide a bulk of the flavor. My aim here is just to get a strong saffron essence to complement the meat. Traditional saffron rice involves stir frying onions in oil and then stirring in the rice and cooking it in a pot for about 20-30 minutes. I've skipped the onion stage because I think the rice itself is still reasonably fragrant and goes quite well with the meat.
The result is a light and fluffy saffron rice that's fragrant yet not laden down with oil.


Easy Rice Cooker Saffron Rice
1 large pinch of saffron
2 tsp hot water
2 cups rice*
3 1/2 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)

In a small bowl, crush the saffron threads with a back of a spoon.  You should end up with about 1 tsp of crushed saffron.  Stir in 2 tsp of hot water and let it sit for 10 minutes.

To a rice cooker, add rice, broth, and saffron infused water. I use medium grain Asian rice, but any grain length should work fine as well. Cook according to the manufacturer's instructions.

If you don't have a rice cooker, you can easily do this in a pot. Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover and turn to low heat, letting it cook for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit, covered, for an additional 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve!

*Note - I've written these instructions using traditional cup measurements. Most Asian rice cookers come with a smaller rice cup (about 3/4 of a normal cup). I usually use 3 rice cooker cups and fill up to the proper line in the rice cooker with broth. 

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