I normally use a rice maker, but since moving to Nicaragua, I've tried (and failed) several times to make good rice on the stovetop. It was always sticky.
I asked several local ladies how they make their rice so well, and now I'm tempted to throw out the rice maker! The texture comes out so nice this way - here's how they make it...
Wash the uncooked rice and drain the water off.
* If it doesn't creep you out to skip this step, then leaving the rice dry yields even better results, in my opinion. If you decide to rinse it first though, remember that drier rice is better, so let it drain well.
In the meantime, put about 4T oil (olive or veggie) in a pot and let it get hot. At this point, you can add some chopped onion and bell pepper if you wish, but it's optional.
Once the rice has finished draining, dump it in the pot.
Let the rice sit there for a couple minutes at a time between stirring, until the rice is browning and fragrant. The smell reminds me a little bit of popcorn...
When your rice has browned, dump in water until it sits about 3/4 inches above the rice and add a pinch or two of salt. Cover the pot and let it boil/steam over a low flame for about 15 minutes, or until done. I can usually smell the rice when it's finished...suddenly the whole kitchen smells like rice!
Chinese fried rice or Gallo Pinto the next day!