Arroz Huerfano (Orphan's Rice)

  • Active Time 25m
  • Total Time 45m

Serves 8

In Mexico, arroz huerfano is often served at lunch or for a light supper, accompanied by a bowl of soup and perhaps some tacos.


  • 2 2/3 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken stock
  • Pinch of saffron threads (about 1/8 tsp.)
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 ounces bacon (about 1 thick slice or 2 thin slices)
  • 1 1/2 ounces finely chopped ham (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley


Heat the stock in a small saucepan until very hot but not boiling, and add the saffron. Turn off the heat and let the mixture sit for at least 10 minutes.

Heat a medium, heavy-based pot or Dutch oven (with a good lid) over medium heat until hot, pour in the oil, and then add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until a few grains just begin to brown, no more, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Turn the heat to high, add the saffron broth and salt, bring to a

boil, cover, turn the heat down to very low, and cook for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, fry the bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels, chop finely, and mix with the ham. Pour out the grease from the pan and add the butter. Melt the butter over medium heat, add the pecans, almonds and pine nuts, and cook them, stirring frequently until the almonds begin to turn golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Don’t overcook the nuts or they’ll be bitter. When the rice has cooked 15 minutes, stir in the baco, ham, sautéed nuts and parsley. Cover the pot and take off the heat. Let the rice steam in the covered pot for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.

RecID 5598

nutrition information per serving

384 calories; 24g total fat; 10mg cholesterol; 387mg sodium; 32g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 10g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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