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Adventures in Foodland - Arroz con Pollo

November 06, 2013 at 08:35 PM | categories: Culinary Capers | View Comments

Laziness? Forgetfulness? Probably a little of both. Usually I get around to cooking something and then forget to take pictures. And what's food without pictures? As they say, half of your tastebuds are in your eyeballs. Who are "they"? I dunno, funnier people than me.

In any case, I found a Spanish dish called arroz con pollo (basically rice with chicken) that looked interesting so I gave a go at it.

Arroz Con Pollo

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 chicken thighs
  • 1 large bell pepper or 1.5 medium ones
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 5oz/150mL can of tomato paste
  • 1 medium onion, white or yellow
  • Handful of cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup chives or green onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of ground mustard, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons olive/vegetable oil
  • Two cups of rice, washed
  • Chicken broth
  • 1 cup of olives, I used black, tradition is green
  • 1/4 cup of olive brine from the jar/can

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350F. Rack should be in the middle.
  2. Pat dry the chicken with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In an oven safe skillet or pot (I used a dutch oven), heat up the oil over medium high heat. When it shimmers, place the chicken skin side down to brown. You should do this in batches if there isn't enough room. Don't crowd the pan.
  4. After 4-5 minutes, flip the chicken to brown on the other side. You should see a nice brown crust forming. Set chicken aside on a plate.
  5. Dice onion and bell pepper.
  6. Slice garlic. Roughly chop the cilantro. Dice the chives or green onion.
  7. After the chicken is browned, reduce heat to medium and toss in the white/yellow onion and bell pepper. Add a teaspoon of salt to help sweat the aromatics. Sweat for 8-10 minutes.
  8. Add the garlic and cilantro, stir for 30 seconds or so until garlic is fragrant.
  9. Add the spices, stir to incorporate.
  10. Add the entire can of tomato paste. Stir to cook out the tinny flavour. This should take a couple of minutes.
  11. Add the rice, olives and olive brine. Add enough chicken broth to barely cover the rice and stir.
  12. Add the chicken back in, along with any juices that may have come out on the plate. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a simmer.
  13. Stir to prevent sticking and then place in your oven for 25-30 minutes.
  14. Scoop rice and chicken into a bowl or plate. Garnish with diced chives/green onion. De-boning the chicken is up to you. I'm Chinese, so I don't.

Some recipes call for red wine, but that requires a bit more reducing to cook out some alcohol. This should put dinner on the table in a little over an hour, start to finish.

May the food be with you.

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