First, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a deep skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the rice and stir constantly until the rice begins to turn golden brown. The toastier your rice, the tastier it will be (information gleaned from my friend, via her grandma of course).
Next, add the chicken stock. The mixture will bubble up, and should be followed immediately by the tomato paste or tomato sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, black pepper, and salt.
Bring to a boil, stirring the tomato paste to dissolve it if using, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Immediately turn the heat down to low and set a timer for 20 minutes.
During or when the rice is done cooking, you may want to check moisture levels. If you smell a hint of a burnt scent, your heat is too high! In this scenario, if the rice is cooked, remove from the heat. If it’s not cooked, lower the heat, and add water ½ cup at a time to continue the cooking process. If it’s too wet, leave the lid slightly ajar or off the pan entirely.
When the rice is done, fluff it with a fork and serve!