Rice in the Oven by Chez John
Hi Doug ~ whacha doin', making some Hoppin' John? Yep, cooking rice in the oven is the only way to do it, IMHO ~ learned that trick about 25 years ago ... and I have not cooked rice any other way since. Tuffy's right on, with his technique in a commercial setting ~ here's how I do it at home.
I have a medium-sized 3 qt Le Creuset pot, with lid, that I use to make rice ~ any heavy pot or saucepan w/lid will do. Preheat oven to 350*. I usually use Uncle Ben's Converted Rice ... and use a 2:1 ratio, liquid to rice ... so if I'm gonna use 2 cups rice, I'll need 4 cups liquid. I usually use chicken stock for the liquid ... instead of water.
Put the pot on the range, med-high heat & melt down a knob of butter (2-3 Tbsp) ... then dump your rice in & just brown it for a couple minutes, stirring well & get all the rice coated with butter. Now, add the liquid, crank up the heat & bring up to the boil ... slap the lid on it, and put the pan in the preheated oven. Time varies a lil', depending on the amount of rice you're making ... but in this case, it generally takes about 20-25 minutes. When most of the liquid is absorbed, remove from oven, give the rice a stir ... put the lid back on & let it sit for another 15-20 minutes, and all the liquid will be absorbed. Perfect rice every time ... regardless if you're making 4 servings...or 400 servings.
When I make dirty rice, I'll brown my sausage, chopped boiled gizzards, chopped veggies/garlic, etc ... and after the rice comes out of the oven, I'll dump in all the other stuff & fold it in ... and then put the lid back on & let it set & absorbed all the liquid. Fluff & serve ~ Easy Peasy.