Chicken: Arroz con Pollo by Polar Bear

posted by Polar Bear 10-04-101 2:13 PM

Arroz con Pollo (Rice with Chicken & Rice)

This is basically a simplified Paella. It originated in Spain, but is also popular on the Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands.

1 large fresh pimento chile (or red bell pepper)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 lb boneless chicken
2 med onions
4 clove garlic
2 tbsp paprika (preferably Spanish) (mild and/or spicy)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp each: black pepper; saffron (pulverized or finely chopped)
7 oz crushed tomatoes (drained; discard liquid) (or 1 tbsp paste)
2 c each: water; chicken and/or vegetable stock
2 c rice (see Note)
1 c frozen peas (thawed) (5 oz)

Roast pimento over an open flame until charred on all side; steam 5 minutes in a small paper bag; peel, seed and cut in 1/4 by 1/2 inch dice. Chop onions; mince garlic; combine seasonings. Cut chicken in 1/2 by 3/4 inch dice.

Saute onions in oil until very tender, about 15 minutes; add garlic and seasonings; saute 30 seconds; add tomatoes and pimento; quickly cook off most the moisture. (This is called a sofrito.)

Stir in stock and rice. Bring to a boil; add chicken (if using thighs) and simmer covered 15 minutes. Stir in peas, and chicken if using breast, simmer 15 minutes more; or, better, bake in 325 degree oven. Let stand 10 minutes off heat before serving.

Notes and Variations:

Rice: For best results, use paella rice (available in some upscale markets). If unavailable, carnaroli (an Italian risotto rice) makes an excellent substitute. Or use arborio, regular medium or long grain rice, or Uncle Ben’s converted.

Whole or Bone-in Chicken: If preferred, leave chicken whole in Step 1 (cutting breast, if using, into 4 to 6 pieces); or use, in each case skinned, 1 med chicken (4 lb, cut into pieces), 3 lb bone-in thighs or breast (halved crosswise), or 4 lb legs (cut into pieces). Add thighs and/or drumsticks (if using) with stock at beginning of Step 3 (if bone-in, substitute water for 2 c of the stock) and simmer 20 minutes before adding rice. Add breast (if using) with the rice (add separately if using a whole chicken). Proceed as above. If de-sired, debone chicken, cut in 1/4 by 1/2 inch dice, re-turn to pot and heat through.

Sausage, Shrimp, Etc.: Part of the chicken may be replaced with Spanish Chorizo or other hearty sausage (cooked and sliced), ham (diced), shrimp (peeled), calamari (bodies cut into rings; tentacles halved), etc. Add to pot with the peas.

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