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Crunchy rice in jambalaya and similar dishes

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Help! I'm a pretty good cook, and have no problem cooking plain rice. But whenever I try a rice recipe that has other stuff in it, like a jambalaya or a pilaf, the rice always has a hard crunchy center. If I add liquid and cook it until the center is done, by that point the outside is mushy. Anyone have any ideas what I'm doing wrong?

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  1. Rice really is one of those things that can screw ya up...my suggestions:

    1. stop stirring: stir once when you add the broth/stock/water and only once
    2. cover, bring to boil, then down to a very low simmer: anything higher than medium low is too high
    3. stop peeking: everytime you sneak a look, you let out valuable steam. If you're using white rice, this should be 12-15 minutes on low heat.
    4. let it sit: tip the pan and check for leftover liquid...If there isn't any, put a lid on it and let it steam off heat---this will finish it for you even if it's a little underdone.
    5. make sure your water:rice ratio is good
    6. If all else fails and you need to add more liquid, only add hot (i.e. boiling) liquid, otherwise you might as well just add water to the pot.

    good luck