Arroz con pollo
This chicken and rice recipe is from chef Jose Enrique and was published in this month’s issue of Food & Wine. It is supposed to be served with an avocado and pea salsa but I don’t really like peas. In fact, frozen peas make me kind of angry, I’m too lazy to shell fresh peas and too cheap to pay for fresh shelled peas…so there aren’t many peas in our diet. Maybe next time, I’ll make tomatillo and avocado salsa to go with it…but it tasted lovely with just some Crystal hot sauce on top.
I forgot to buy parsley so substituted chopped arugula and spinach for the greenery. Next time, I’d also chop up some pimento green olives for a little extra zing. I didn’t look that hard for Bomba rice or Valencia rice but just substituted with arborio. It reheated perfectly for a nice lunch today.
Arroz con pollo
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- ~3.5 lbs chicken (4-5 legs, separated into drums & thighs)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 onion
- 2 serrano chiles, seeded
- 2 garlic cloves
- ~1lb tomatoes, finely diced
- 1 tsp ground achiote (annatto)
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- Small pinch of saffron threads
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup light beer
- 2 cups Bomba, Valencia, Arborio or other short-grain rice
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup minced green olives
- Preheat the oven to 400F. In a very large cast iron pot (I used my 9 qt Le Creuset), heat the olive oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Cook skin side down over moderate heat, until nicely browned on both sides. Transfer to a plate.
- While your chicken is cooking, pulse onion, serranos and garlic in a food processor (or mince everything). Add the onion, serranos and garlic to the skillet and season with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes (which can also be pulsed in the food processor), achiote, cumin and saffron and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes start to break down, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Add the stock and beer and bring to a boil. Stir in the rice and return to a boil. It’ll look like you have a lot of liquid, but have faith! Arrange the chicken into the pot and bake uncovered in the lower third of the oven for about 30 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed, the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate. Fluff the rice with a fork, then gently fold in the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Return the chicken to the skillet and serve with hot sauce.