There's a reason boil-in-bag rice and all its mutations sell so well: few things intimidate cooks like achieving "the perfect rice." Forget it. If you can boil water, you can make great rice. Treat it like pasta -- boil it in lots of water, drain it just before it's done, and let it stand, covered, for a few minutes. Perfect fluff.
Cook to Cook: All rices work here; only the cooking times vary from one rice to another. You could skip the 10 minutes rest for the rice by cooking it to tender in the boiling water, draining, and serving.
Fragrant rices like basmati and jasmine should be rinsed several times before cooking to remove the extra starch and ensure that the grains cook up separate and fluffy.
3 quarts salted water in a 5- to 6-quart pot
1 cup long-grain white rice
1. Bring the salted water to a boil.
2. Drop the rice in the water and boil for 8 to 10 minutes, or until it is slightly undercooked. Drain in a sieve, return it to the pot, and let rest, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.
From The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift, Clarkson Potter 2008.
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