Imperial rice

Imperial rice. It is assumed that it is a Cuban recipe, although it has some variations that have made it more international. This makes it more difficult to define its true origin. The basic foundation of this recipe are four main ingredients: rice, chicken, cheese and mayonnaise. Although this last ingredient some people eliminate it while others add more quantity.


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  • 1 Basic idea
  • 2 Imperial rice 1
    • 1 Preparation
  • 3 Imperial rice 2
    • 1 Preparation
  • 4 See also
  • 5 Sources

Basic idea

The idea is to make a kind of cake using the rice as a base. Although the ingredients can be varied and the combinations are different, the chicken, the cheese and the mayonnaise are always present. It is not a complicated process, but you do have to be very careful and pay close attention.

As precisely the idea is to make a cake, you must have on hand the mold that you will use to make it. This can be a tray with somewhat high edges (depending on the amount to be made). If you do not have an oven, it can be adapted to have all the hot ingredients to mold them, allowing the cheese to melt somewhat. However, the final secret is to serve it hot.

On the other hand, this rice could be considered as a relative of the famous Italian risotto for rice and cheese in addition to the use of the broth. And its main difference precisely lies in the use of chicken as a fixed element in the recipe. Risottos do not use chicken as a fundamental meat

Imperial rice 1

Imperial rice served in a deep dish


  • 3 cups of rice
  • ½ chicken or breast
  • ½ Kg. (1 pound) of ham of any type
  • ½ Kg. Of shrimp
  • 2 cups of white wine (can also be beer)
  • 1 pill of concentrated chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
  • Oil
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Laurel
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • White pepper
  • Mayonnaise
  • cheese
  • Saffron or bijol


  • To the chicken, the skin is removed, and it is brought to a boil in a pressure cooker with 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, bay leaf, cumin, a tablespoon of tomato puree, salt, and the chicken stock tablet. As the time varies depending on the pot being used, it should be boiled until very soft.
  • Simultaneously, chop the ham into very small pieces, fry it in the pan with a well-marinated clove of garlic, and leave it in a container, draining the oil that you will use. Boil the shrimp, and when removing them without breaking, mix them with very chopped onion, white pepper and sauté them in the pan, leaving it later in a container.
  • When the chicken is soft, remove it from the broth and crumble it, and in the pan with a little oil, cook it with well-chopped onion, a clove of garlic, paprika, and a tablespoon of tomato puree.
  • Prepare in a pot, a little oil, chopped onion, bell peppers in strips or chopped, cumin (1/2 teaspoon), coloring of rice (saffron or bijol) to taste and in that stir-fry add the rice.
  • Cook the rice until the color is equal to medium heat, and add 2 cups of wine or beer and 1 1/2 of the chicken stock that was left to remove it. Add salt to taste and cook it regularly, If you cook it in a pressure cooker: put the lid on and when you take the pressure, put it on low heat for 20 minutes. In a normal pot, put it on high heat and when it starts to boil, cover it and leave it to simmer for 20 minutes.

Pour mayonnaise into a layer of Imperial Rice in the pan before the oven.

  • Once the rice is cooked, take a refractory mold and proceed as follows: Pour rice in the bottom until more or less 2 cm., And tamp it with a slotted spoon, cover with mayonnaise spreading it over the surface of the rice, add part of the shrimp (or all). Cover with rice again 2 cm., Proceed in the same way, tamp and put mayonnaise, add a layer of the chicken. Cover with rice again 2 cm., Proceed in the same way, tamp and put mayonnaise, add a layer of ham. And continue until you finish with a layer of rice, sandwiching ham, chicken and shrimp by layer. Chicken should always be the predominant one, that is, there must be more layers of chicken than ham or shrimp, even of these two it can be one interspersed with chicken.
  • Once finished, and well tamped, everything can be covered with mayonnaise or not, but in any case, grated cheese is put on top so that it covers as much of the rice as possible and it is briefly melted in the oven. It can be garnished with peppers, or even boiled eggs.

Individual molded of Imperial Rice.

  • Note: As you can see, there are meat ingredients attached that may not be very common, but the important thing is the methodology in the preparation

Imperial rice 2

Ingredients: (for two people)

  • 2 large chicken breasts (boneless)
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • ½ cup of Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup bell pepper (diced)
  • ½ cup white onion (diced)
  • ¼ cup green peas
  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Olive oil
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of red pepper
  • 1 pinch of bijol (saffron or other coloring)


Portion of Imperial Rice served.

Place the chicken breasts in a saucepan and cover with water. Let them boil and simmer. Now add the garlic and continue cooking without putting a lid on it until the meat is tender. Remove from the heat and separate the broth. Crumble the chicken into medium pieces using two forks.

In a saucepan, place the olive oil and add the pepper and onion. Sauté over moderate heat until tender. Add the tomato paste and chicken, and bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes. Add the peas and continue cooking for 5 minutes without covering. Add a pinch of salt and red pepper. Reserve yourself. It’s time to add the rice to the reserved chicken broth, along with the bean to give color. Cover the saucepan and let the rice cook for about 15 minutes. When ready add the mayonnaise and stir.

Preheat the oven to 180º C. Take a mold and place a little mayonnaise on the bottom. Then put a layer of rice. On top, place a layer of the separate chicken. Cover again with rice and press with a spatula, to give it firmness and uniformity. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 10 – 15 minutes and remove when the cheese has browned. Serve on wedge-shaped plates, as if it were a lasagna. You can garnish it with strips of red pepper or the leaves of some aromatic herb such as parsley or peppermint.



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