Thursday, July 19, 2012

Arroz con Pollo

Yum.  It's 8:30 am and I'm already looking forward to leftovers of this arroz con pollo for lunch. We really liked this dish and both might have gone back for seconds. I (not surprisingly) added in extra vegetables (I threw in chopped bell peppers, chopped zucchini and frozen peas) which worked really well with the dish although I can't speak for how that changes its authenticity.  But adding the veggies made this a one-pot meal which is never a bad thing in my book.  (Although for full disclosure, you will have to clean a food processor as well as a pot.)

While this is a one-pot meal, it isn't a quick recipe.  I did not find the recipe very difficult or laborious but it takes time for the different steps (much of the time is just waiting).  However, I made this one a night where we didn't have much going on so it was perfect - we even made cookies while we waited! And while the arroz con pollo does take some time, it was a seriously rewarding dish.  We both loved the flavor and everything melded together so well. The chicken was cooked perfectly - my husband didn't even use a knife to cut the chicken!

I found that my rice was a little wet at the end so I took off the cover of the pot cooked in on low for a few minutes until it reached a consistency we liked.

Arroz con Pollo
Taken from: Skinnytaste
Serves 5-6
  • 6 skinless chicken thighs (I used 1 1/4 pounds of chicken breast, cut into 6 equal pieces instead)
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tsp sazon (as a homemade substitute, I combined a scant 1/2 tsp of each in a small bowl: salt, black pepper, garlic powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, dried oregano and paprika); you could also use a pinch of saffron as another substitute
  • about 1/2 tsp adobo powder (I used about 1 tsp of abodo sauce, taken from chipotles in adobo sauce)
  • about 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 5 scallions
  • 2 tbsp bell pepper
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 2/3 cups enriched long grain rice
  • 3 cups chicken broth (you could also use 3 cups water plus 1 chicken bouillon cube)
  • salt to taste
  • Optional additional veggies: I also cut up 1/2 green bell pepper, 1/2 red bell pepper, 1 zucchini and added in about 1-2 cups of frozen peas at the end
  1. Season chicken with vinegar, 1/2 tsp sazon, garlic powder, and adobo powder (if using adobo sauce, wait until step 3) and let it sit 10 minutes. While waiting, heat a large deep heavy skillet or pot (must have a lid) on medium, adding 2 tsp oil when hot. Add chicken and brown 5 minutes on each side. Remove chicken and set aside.
  2. Place onion, cilantro, garlic, scallions and pepper in food processor and process until finely chopped. Add remaining teaspoon of olive oil to the skillet/pot and sauté onion mixture on medium-low until soft, about 3 minutes. Add tomato (and any additional veggies except peas), cook another 1-2 minutes. Add rice, mix well and cook another minute. Add chicken broth (or water and bouillon) and remaining sazon, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Taste for salt, adding more as needed.
  3. Bring to a boil.  Add chicken and nestle into rice. Simmer on medium-low until most of the water evaporates and you see the liquid bubbling at the top of the rice line, then reduce heat to low heat and cover. Make sure the lid has a good seal, no steam should escape (You could place a piece of tin foil or paper towel in between the lid and the pot if steam escapes).
  4. Cook 20 minutes without opening the lid. Shut heat off and let it sit with the lid on an additional 10 minutes (don't peak!).  Add in frozen peas and fluff with a fork.  Wait for a minute or two to let the peas heat through and then serve (if rice is still a little wet, you can uncover and cook on low for a few minutes).

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