Place rice in a large bowl and cover with hot water. Let it soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again.
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring softly for 2 to 3 minutes. Incorporate the onion and cook stirring often for about 3 to 4 more minutes. Pour in the chicken stock, celery, parsley, lime juice, salt and chile.
Bring to a boil, cover pot, reduce heat to low and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes until rice is cooked through and liquid has been absorbed by grains.
Remove from heat and let it sit, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork when ready to serve. Serve topped with cooked plantains (below) on top and sour cream on the side if desired.
Peel plantains and slice diagonally into 1/4-inch thick slices.
Add about 1/4-inch of oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the plantain to hot oil and fry until browned, about 2 minutes per side.
Remove from oil and drain excess fat on a plate covered with paper towels.
With a distinguished and intriguing combination of ingredients, this dish of rice and plantains is quite simple and very satisfying. Rice is infused with flavor from chicken stock, serrano chiles and spices for a savory taste. Fried plantains will add a layer of sweetness while the sour cream adds a touch of tangy and tart flavor. However, in order to keep the flavors balanced, it is key that you choose the right plantains.
How do you know when a plantain is ripe? Look for ones that have skin that’s mostly black. Mature plantains are at their peak sweetness. Note that they should be slightly firm when squeezed. Green plantains are used for other preparations such as tostones which are more on the salty side.
If this is your first attempt at frying plantains, don’t worry – these tips will help you fry them to perfection for a crispy caramelized outside and a soft almost creamy inside.
– Choose the right fruit: remember, you want to use ripe plantains.
– Use neutral-flavored oils: canola or vegetable oils are the best options. These have a high smoking point and won’t transfer any taste to your plantains. Use enough to cover the bottom of your frying pan.
– Set heat to medium: using low heat will result in mushy plantains while high heat might burn them easily.
– Fry in batches: slices should be spaced enough away from each other that they caramelize properly and don’t clump.
Now that you know how to make the perfect plantains, discover more delicious recipes with this Caribbean staple. How does this Arroz con Coco with Fried Plantains sound?