Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Chicken & Rice Makes Everything Nice.
Tonight for dinner I made Arroz con Pollo. Cuban chicken and rice. This is one of favorite dishes. It's serious comfort food. I use beer in the cooking liquid and bit of hot sauce to tweak the flavor of my family recipe. It's very simple to make and it's always super delicious. Okay so I got a request for the recipe so here it is.
Cuban Arroz Con Pollo
1 Tbsp olive oil,
1 Tbsp butter,
2 lbs chicken pieces (legs, thighs, halved breasts)
1/2 cup achiote oil (recipe below, or olive oil and a pinch of saffron)
1 spanish (white) onion, small diced
1 green pepper, small diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup spanish olives, sliced
2 cups valencia rice (regular long grain will work)
1/4 cup basic tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups of pilsner beer (I like to use Pacifico)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 Tbsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 Tbsp hot sauce (I love Tapatio)
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
for the achiote oil:
1 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp annatto (achiote) seeds
Heat the olive oil and seeds in a saute pan over medium heat until the seeds start to sizzle. Cook for about 1-2 minutes and once the seeds start to give off aroma and darken, strain the seeds from the oil. Do not overcook, the seeds will burn and become very bitter. Whatever you don't use right away can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week.
for the arroz con pollo:
Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large pan over medium high heat, add a Tbsp of olive oil and a Tbsp of butter. Saute the chicken until nicely browned. Remove the chicken from the pan and put aside.
In the same pan, add the achiote oil (if you can't do achiote oil use olive oil and just add a pinch of saffron). Saute the onion, green pepper, garlic, scallions for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add the rice and cook a few minutes until it's well coated with the oil. Put the chicken back in the pan and coat the chicken with the oil. Add the olives, tomato sauce, cumin, oregano, beer, chicken stock, and hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper and give it a few more stirs. Bring it to a boil, cover, and place in the oven.
Cook for 20 minutes and then remove the pan from the oven. Keep it covered and let it sit for 10 minutes. Uncover it and fluff up the rice with a fork. Serves 4-6. Enjoy!