Post # 107 Arroz con Pollo

April 5, 2013 at 1:23 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post # 107 Arroz con Pollo

Okay, I’m not a Spanish food expert, but I truly love Spanish foods.  I did an entire post on tacos once, and there is so much more to write about.  So today, I thought I’d tell you my version of Arroz con Pollo.

Arroz con Pollo is pronounced Ah-ros cone Poyo.  It means simply rice with chicken.  It’s amazingly easy to cook.  Prep time is about a half hour, and total cooking time runs about 45 minutes.  It’s a stove top meal in one large skillet so it’s not very messy either.  I’ll write out the recipe below, but let’s talk about the ingredients first.

Obviously, you’re going to need chicken and rice.  Then you’re going to need some spices to make it taste like a Hispanic dish.  Most people add a vegetable to it to round it out and make it a one pot meal.  Having said all that, it pretty versatile.

For the chicken, you can cut up a whole chicken and use it.  Or you can use one part of the chicken.  I like to make this with chicken thighs, but last night I made it with chicken breast because that’s what I had on hand.  You can also use boneless chicken and cut it up into bite-sized pieces.  I’ve even heard of people using canned chicken, but I haven’t tried that.

The rice can be any kind of rice you like, just don’t use instant.  It cooks too fast and turns to mush.  Last night, I used jasmine rice, but you can use any uncooked rice of the white, brown, or wild variety.  Using black or red rice would work, but you’d have to adjust the spices for the flavor of the rice.  In any event, try to use a long-grain rice if possible.

The seasonings can be pretty standard, or as spicy as you want to make them.  Nearly every recipe I’ve read calls for a chopped onion, and salsa or tomatoes.  Last night, I used a chopped onion, garlic powder, ginger, Mrs. Dash Chipotle Seasoning, and chili powder.  Many recipes call for only cumin and saffron.

If you’re adding vegetables to it, use frozen rather than fresh and add them during the last five minutes of cooking time.  Most recipes call for peas, but since Partner/Spouse doesn’t eat peas, I used corn which gives it a sweet flavor.  Just make sure whatever veggie you’re using is cut into small, bite-sized pieces if possible.

Okay, so let’s talk about making this.

Use a large skillet with a lid, or a dutch oven.  It needs to be large enough to hold all the chicken pieces comfortably.  Heat one tablespoon of oil to the sizzling stage and add the chicken, cooking until well browned on both sides.  Remove the chicken, but keep it warm by covering it tightly with foil.  Add one roughly chopped onion to the skillet and cook until softened, about six minutes or so.

Add one cup of rice and the spices to the onion and stir thoroughly for about thirty seconds.  You should start smelling the aroma of the spices as they cook.  Add two cups of chicken broth and one cup of your favorite chunky salsa.  If you don’t have salsa handy, or don’t like salsa, add one can of chopped tomatoes, or one cup of fresh tomatoes chopped with the juices and seeds intact.  Stir to mix.  Bring to a boil and boil for five minutes stirring occasionally to keep the rice from sticking to the pan.  Place the chicken back in the pan, nestling it down into the rice and liquid.  Avoid over-crowding if possible.  Sprinkle with salt, cover tightly, reduce the heat to a bare simmer.  Simmer for fifteen minutes.

Remove the chicken, and add any vegetables you may be having with the rice.  Stir the vegetables well into the rice.  Place chicken back into pan, cover, and cook for another five minutes until everything is hot throughout.  Use a thermometer to make certain your chicken has cooked thoroughly.  It must reach 170 degrees.  When the chicken is done, turn the heat off and serve while hot.  Partner/Spouse likes to fold it all into a flour tortilla and make a burrito.

If there are any leftovers, cut the chicken into small pieces, add more cooked rice and salsa so there’s enough for everyone, put it into a baking dish and cover with cornbread mix.  Bake until the cornbread is done, and dish it up!  Good stuff!



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