Friday, January 27, 2012

Arroz con Pollo


 



































So good that words cannot describe. But sadly, made when company was coming over, so there was not much time for creative picture taking. A lovely dish to prepare on a cold winter night. And a great way to make the house smell delicious. 

Tip: I do not have a Dutch oven big enough for 8 chicken thighs to cook safely, so instead, I seared the chicken in two batches on the stove, and then removed them to an 8x12 Pyrex casserole dish. The rest of the recipe was prepared as described below.



Arroz con Pollo
6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed (about 2 T)
1/2 tsp oregano, dried
1 T + 2 tsp white vinegar
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (3.5 - 4 lbs), trimmed of excess fat and skin
2 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine (1 c)
1 green bell peppers chopped fine (3/4 c)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 c cilantro, minced
8 oz tomato sauce
1 3/4 c chicken stock
1/4 c water
3 c medium-grain rice (if using long-grain, increase water to 3/4 c in step 2)
1/2 c green olives (manzanilla), pitted and halved
1 T capers
1/2 c pimientos, jarred, cut into 1/4 x 2" strips
lemon wedges, for serving


To keep the dish from becoming greasy, it is important to remove excess fat from the chicken thighs and trim the skin.


Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Place garlic and 1 teaspoon salt in large bowl using rubber spatula, mix to make smooth paste. Add oregano, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to garlic-salt mixture stir to combine. Place chicken in bowl with marinade. Coat chicken pieces evenly with marinade set aside for 15 minutes.


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, green pepper, and pepper flakes cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, 4 to 8 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons cilantro stir to combine. Push vegetables to sides of pot and increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken to clearing in center of pot, skin side down, in even layer. Cook, without moving chicken, until outer layer of meat becomes opaque, 2 to 4 minutes. (If chicken begins to brown, reduce heat to medium.) Using tongs, flip chicken and cook on second side until opaque, 2 to 4 minutes more. Add tomato sauce, broth, and water stir to combine. Bring to simmer cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes.


Add rice, olives, capers, and 3/4 teaspoon salt stir well. Bring to simmer, cover, and place pot in oven. After 10 minutes, remove pot from oven and stir chicken and rice once from bottom up. Return pot to oven. After another 10 minutes, stir once more, adding 1/4 cup water if rice appears dry and bottom of pot is beginning to burn. Cover and return pot to oven cook until rice has absorbed all liquid and is tender but still holds its shape and temperature of chicken registers 175 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes longer.


Using tongs, remove chicken from pot replace lid and set pot aside. Remove and discard chicken skin using 2 spoons, pull meat off bones into large chunks. Using fingers, remove remaining fat or dark veins from chicken pieces. Place chicken in large bowl and toss with remaining tablespoon olive oil, remaining 2 teaspoons vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro, and pimentos season with salt and pepper to taste. Place chicken on top of rice, cover, and let stand until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Serve, passing lemon wedges separately.

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