When I lived in New York City I came to love a one-pot dish called arroz con pollo (rice with chicken). I’d often enjoy arroz con pollo at inexpensive Cuban and Puerto Rican restaurants. Arroz con pollo is a dish that is ubiquitous in Latin American and some Caribbean countries, and it seems like every family has its own recipe. It’s an easy comfort food to prepare and I like this recipe, which is based on one from the Food Network. Make it your own by adding other favorite ingredients such as peas, olives, corn, diced carrots, etc.
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- One chicken cut into 8 pieces, skin removed
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, minced
- 3 jalapenos peppers, stemmed, seeded and minced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups long grain rice
- 1 ½ cups lower sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- Minced chives or parsley (optional)
- Combine the salt, garlic powder, cumin, black pepper and cayenne in a plastic gallon bag. Shake until the mixture is well combined. Pat the chicken pieces dry and place in the bag with the spice mixture. Shake the bag, making sure the chicken is well coated. Refrigerate until you’re ready to cook.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a 12-inch high-sided skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the chicken and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate, using tongs.
- Lower the heat to medium. Add the onion, jalapeno peppers, red pepper, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the skillet. Cook the vegetables, stirring, until softened and fragrant, about 5 or 6 minutes. Add the rice to the skillet and cook until it begins to turn gold in color and fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Meanwhile, combine the stock, tomato sauce and remaining teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups water and the stock mixture to the skillet and stir to make sure the rice is covered in liquid. Nestle the chicken in the rice, adding any juices from the plate. Bring the rice to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Cook until the chicken is cooked through, the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed about 35 minutes. Let the skillet stand covered, about 10 minutes before serving.
- Garnish with (optional) minced chives or parsley.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.
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