Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken and Rice)

This is one of my favorite Cuban dishes and it's super affordable. The great thing is that you can stretch this meal out and have two dinners for a family of four or just eat left-overs for lunches. I have sort of mixed bits of that recipe, and bits of this recipe to come up with one that is full of flavor, more on the gourmet side and has lovely color and spice. Serve this dish with a garden salad and fresh Cuban bread. Flan makes an excellent dessert if making this for a dinner party.

Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken and Rice)

3 lbs. chicken (I usually use halved chicken breasts and thighs)
1 tbs. achiote powder or annato seed that has been ground (Goya brand can be found at Publix).
1 tbs. ground cumin
1/2 tbs. ground coriander
1 tsp. tumeric
10 cloves chopped garlic
2 tbs. EVOO
about 2 cups of chopped onion
1 (15 oz) can of petite diced tomatoes
1 green bell pepper diced
1 yellow pepper diced
1 cup of beer or white wine
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 bay leaves
2 cups of short grain white rice (usually found in the latin foods isle at Publix)
1 cup frozen pigeon peas (found in the latin frozen section) or 1 cup regular frozen peas if preferred.
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup sliced green olives with pimiento
Crystals Sauce for serving.
Plantanos Maduros (recipe below) for serving.
Mix the spices and garlic together and give the chicken a good rub down. Heat oil in heavy bottom pan and sear the chicken pieces on each side. Add the onions, tomatoes, peppers and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the wine or beer, oregano and bay leaves and cook for another 20 minutes stirring frequently. Add the broth, rice and peas and mix well and cover the pot. Turn your pot down to med-low and keep a careful eye not to burn the rice mixture at the bottom. This requires a
careful stir about half way through. Cook for another 20 minutes. Stir gently and return cover to pan and let it sit about 10 minutes before serving. To serve the dish, sprinkle with cilantro and sliced olives and top with plantanos maduros (sweet ripe fried plantains).



Plantanos Maduros
3 very ripe plantains (should be spotted or mostly black)
1/2 cup of canola oil

Heat oil in frying pan. Peel and slice plantains at an angle and add to hot oil. Fry until caramelized and brown on either side. Place on paper towel to soak up excess oil and serve.

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