Jamaican rice and peas

The title of this recipe is confusing, because it doesn’t actually use peas but kidney beans. Nonetheless, it seemed simple enough, and I decided to go for it.

I went a bit heavy on the onion (a whole onion instead of a half), left out the chili pepper, used basmati rice instead of long-grain (it’s what I had), and tinkered around slightly with the liquid quantities to fit the can sizes I had on hand. I think I may have made a major goof: I only realized afterward that the chicken broth I was using was, in fact, condensed. I think that’s why the end result is so salty. Boo! I’ll have to try again with non-condensed broth.

The other problem I had is that my big (3 1/4 quart) saucepan — the only one that will fit all the ingredients — doesn’t have a proper lid. I used a larger lid that kept slipping off, which I think led to some liquid evaporation and made the end result very chewy and firm. Towards the end of the cooking time (i.e. about 20 minutes in), I added an extra half-cup of water and put it back on the stove for seven minutes, which helped a little, but it’s still chewy. (People with actual cooking experience: is this how you make rice softer? Am I just doomed? Help!)

In the end, it turned out okay. A little too salty, a little too crunchy, but worthy trying again once I’ve got the right ingredients (read: non-condensed broth) and a lid for my pot.

Updated to add: So, after a bunch of calling around and finally realizing that no one carries replacement Lagostina lids in retail stores, I’ve ordered a new lid online. Hopefully it fits. If it does, then one of my major kitchen annoyances of the past year will be magically solved.

Edited (again) to add: The good news is that Marc really likes it. So this’ll go into my usual rotation of stuff I can cook again. It’s a good thing he likes it, too: it makes a *lot* of leftovers!

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