Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Arroz con Pollo

What's not to love about chicken and rice cooked low and slow in one pot and served steaming hot and family style on a chilly Sunday evening??? I love the flavors of this classic Latin/Caribbean comfort dish. Now I'm a Scottish/Belgian mix, so my recipe may not be entirely authentic, but it is super tasty and freezes well if you cook up a big batch for later consumption.

I typically don't measure out stuff, but the spices listed are a ballpark figure. Always be sure to taste as you go and adjust accordingly. All sorts of chicken pieces would be great in this dish, but here we just used the breast pieces. I also used saffron and annato (achiote) and it was terrific. Plus I threw in turmeric, which is probably not authentic, but turmeric is so good for you and it added a terrific golden hue to the dish.

4 whole chicken breasts, bone in.
1 jar of roasted red bell pepper, cut peppers into strips
1 medium white onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
1 bottle beer- we used a lager (or use 1.5 cups dry white wine)
1 tsp Better than Bouillon chicken base
1 tbs dried oregano
1tsp dried thyme
1 tsp onion powder
1 thread saffron
1 tbs annato powder
2 tsp sweet paprika
a pinch of smoked paprika
1 tsp tumeric powder
1 dried bayleaf
1 cup long grain brown rice
1 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Salt and pepper the chicken breasts. In a large oven proof pan with a lid (set aside for later), heat oil over med-high heat and brown chicken breasts until golden, skin side down- about 7 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and flip the breasts over and add onions, peppers, garlic, herbs and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add beer and bring to a simmer.

 Add stock and cover the pan and place in a 225 preheated oven and cook low and slow 2.5 hours. You could cook it for only an hour, but low and slow makes the meat meltingly tender and juicy. After 2.5 hours, add the brown rice and butter, cover and cook another hour until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid. Garnish with chopped cilantro or Italian parsley and serve directly at the table. I've added peas to the dish with the rice and that is also pretty tasty, but the hubs hates peas, so I didn't put them in this time.

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