Arroz con pollo (rice and chicken) provides supreme flavor, spice, and a little beat of heat if you can stand it. The first time I was introduced to this dish was in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I fell in love with its boldness, the layers of taste that seemed to increase with each spoonful.
My first attempt to make it was not as successful as I would have liked. I was so excited to eat it, that I forgot how quickly rice can burn. Since then, however, I’ve perfected the flavors that I first fell in love with: the cumin-infused smokiness of the chicken mixed with salty pimientos, a dash of beer for depth, and, of course, sofrito: a mixture of bell peppers, onion, and garlic — the superstar of many Latin dishes.
Photo: Jenna Weber
Kristin Braswell is a food and lifestyle writer, currently developing a cooking web series set to premiere this month called “The Food.” Follow her on Twitter @brooklynwriter1.
For more recipes from Kristin, follow me on Twitter (@MarcusCooks)
Arroz Con Pollo Recipe
|Calories:||260 per serving|
|Prep Time:||20 minutes|
|Cook Time:||20 minutes|
|Total Time:||1 hour + marinating time|
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice or lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp olive oil or annatto oil(gives dish its rich yellow color)
- 1 lb chicken parts
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp paprika
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 12 oz bottle of beer
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 cups long-grain white rice
- 1/4 tsp saffron threads
- 1 cup green peas
- 1 cup pimientos or whole green olives
1. In a large bowl, toss the chicken pieces with the lemon or lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper and marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
2. Heat the olive or annato oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium flame. Pat the chicken pieces dry and saute in small batches to brown on all sides. Remove from pot and set aside.
3. Add a little more oil to the pot if needed and saute the saffron, onion, peppers, garlic until the onion is translucent but not browned.
4. Stir in the rice and tomato sauce and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Then add the stock, beer, bay leaf, olives, peas, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Lay the browned chicken pieces over the top. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover tightly and simmer for about 30 minutes. Do not stir too often, or the rice will get soggy.
5. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, 10 minutes. Toss all the ingredients gently with a fork, garnish with more peas and pimiento and serve