Thursday, November 15, 2012

Recipe: Arroz con Pollo

The fall/winter weather has finally arrived in Las Vegas, and there's nothing better than having some yummy comfort foods to warm you up. The dish looks so vibrant and would make a great dish for Thanksgiving. Plus, it tastes just as good as it looks! This was my first time making arroz con pollo and it's definitely on the top of my list for yummy dishes I made from my recipe binder. ENJOY!

A few FYIs before we get started:
  • It says to use a  big skillet to cook this. I  used at 12 in (or maybe 16 haha) skillet to cook this dish and it ended up becoming very messy once it added the broth and tomatoes. It started to overflow once it started to boil so I suggest to use a skillet if it's really deep or just settle with a cast iron caldero pot where its a little deeper to prevent overflowing.
  • When browning the chicken, I used a little more olive oil than suggested once I saw that the oil was darkening quickly. That's something you want to prevent so you don't have burnt tasting chicken so use your judgement on that. Plus, nonstick spray is definitely key!
  • I've never cooked rice on the stove before nor in a dish full of ingredients. I'm used to just cooking it in a rice cooker. I honestly was debating on cooking it in the rice cooker to make sure it was thoroughly cooked and adding it later, but I followed the recipe instead. Rest assure the rice cooked perfectly fine when adding it to the ingredients in the pot.
  • Lastly, I didn't have much leftover juices after browning my chicken so don't be alarmed if you don't either. Regardless, I still saved the little I had.


ARROZ CON POLLO

Ingredients:
  • 3 lb.s skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breasts
  • Kosher or coarse salt and ground black pepper
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 1/2 cups short or medium grain rice
  • 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, with their juice
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • 1 cup frozen peas (no need to thaw)


Directions:
  1. Cut the chicken into chunks about 2 by 2 inches. Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Spray a very large skillet with a lid with nonstick cooking spray and heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add as much chicken as will fit in the pan without crowding. Cook the chicken until it it golden brown on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook until the other side is browned, 3 to 4 minutes longer; the chicken will still be pink inside. Transfer the chicken to a large plate. Repeat until all of the chicken is browned, adding another tablespoon of olive oil as needed. Pour off the fat and pan juices from each batch of chicken into a heatproof bowl.
  3. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and bell pepper and cook until the vegetables start to become tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring until you can really smell the garlic, about 1 minute. Add the rice and stir until the rice starts to turn slightly translucent and is nicely coated with all of the vegetables and the fat, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice and the chicken broth, bay leaves, and paprika. Stir well. Cover the skillet, increase the heat to medium-high, let the liquid come to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium, and let simmer until the rice has begun to absorb the liquid, about 8 minutes.
  4. Arrange the chicken pieces on top of the rice and drizzle any juices that have accumulated on the plate over the chicken. Pour off any fat that has separated from the reserved pan juices. Cover the skillet again and let simmer gently until the chicken is cooked through, the rice is tender, and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the lid, sprinkle the peas on top. cover the skillet and cook until the peas are heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve portions of the chicken with the rice and vegetables.

Let me know how your dish turned out!