A copycat recipe for Chipotle’s popular cilantro-lime rice, with a simple method to ensure light, fluffy rice with no clumps!
If you’re a Chipotle-aholic, raise your hand… I knew I wasn’t alone :)
I was pretty late to the Chipotle craze because there weren’t many of them in my area until the last few years, but once I got a taste of the amazingly fresh, fast Mexican goodness, I was hooked. We don’t go often, and when we do, one of those massive burritos lasts me for at least 2 meals. SO GOOD!
Last weekend, we had our parents over for another afternoon playoff hockey game and I threw out the idea of making something Mexican to eat. My husband suggested copycat Chipotle burritos… um, done! I immediately got to work nailing down the details, which meant figuring out the signature cilantro-lime rice and the seasoning for the chicken. This rice is crazy easy to make and it’s the only method I’m going to use for making rice from now on, no matter how it’s seasoned!
I did a bunch of poking around online, looking at copycat recipes and they were all virtually identical – basmati rice was the de facto base, along with a bay leaf, salt, olive oil, cilantro, and both lime and lemon juices. However, I stumbled upon a new-to-me rice-cooking method over at Culinary Hill, and I was totally intrigued. It promised rice that was light, fluffy, and with the grains perfectly separated and not at all clumpy.
Instead of using the traditional 2:1 ratio of water to rice, boiling, then covering, reducing to a simmer and cooking until the water is absorbed, then fluffing, you do a 180 method-wise. The rice is boiled, uncovered, in a 4:1 ratio of water to rice for 12 minutes. Once done, the rice is drained and rinsed with hot water, and voila! ABSOLUTELY PERFECT RICE. I couldn’t believe it!
Between the fluffy white rice, the subtle flavor from the bay leaf, and the characteristic cilantro and lime flavors, this rice is definitely a spot-on replica of Chipotle’s famous cilantro-lime rice.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a recipe for Chipotle’s chicken, which is now on steady rotation in our house… stay tuned!
Place the water in a large saucepan or stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the rice, 2 teaspoons of the salt, the bay leaf and olive oil and stir to combine. Allow to return to a boil, then boil, uncovered, for 12 minutes.
Remove from the heat, drain the rice in a fine-mesh strainer, and rinse with hot water. Transfer the rice to a serving bowl, remove the bay leaf, and stir in the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, cilantro, lime juice and lemon juice. Serve warm or at room temperature. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Note: Chipotle uses rice bran oil in their rice; if you have it (or can find it at your grocery store), you can substitute it for the olive oil.Nutritional values are based on one serving