Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chicken and Rice (Arroz con Pollo - my way)

There are so many versions of Arroz con Pollo in Spanish speaking countries that it is very difficult to pick. So, why not to add to the general confusion by creating my own version. I did just that and here it is.
Ingredients (will serve 2 - 3):
2 chicken legs, cut up
1 T. bacon fat or oil
1 cup Arborio rice
1 cup chicken stock
1 can - 8 oz. crushed tomatoes
1 small onion or 6 shallots
1 stalk celery
1 carrot
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 roasted red pepper and
few sprigs of coriander for garnish.
Brown chicken pieces in bacon fat on all sides in a hot preheated Dutch oven, remove to bowl and keep warm. Pour off all accumulated fat except 1 tablespoon. Put all vegetables into pot and sauté for few minutes.
Put chicken pieced back in the pot and add chicken stock and tomatoes and bring to simmer. Cover and simmer for about 40 minutes.
Add rice, stir till combined, cover and lower the heat to slow simmer.
Check for liquid level after 15 minutes. If too dry, add some water or stock.
Keep tasting the rice to make sure it will not be over cooked.
Remove the chicken pieces, debone and keep warm. Place roasted red peppers in pot to heat through.
Serve the rice on plate with red peppers on top, then deboned chicken and garnish with coriander (cilantro).
Note: This is stovetop version but can be done in 350 °C oven. Also, you can use long grain rice but you will have to adjust the amount of liquid by about 25%.

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