Tonight is "Mexican Monday" in our house and we were going to have tacos, but when I woke up this morning, I was thinking about Arroz Con Pollo. Elise Bauer posted a recipe recently, and I haven't been able to get it out of my head. I haven't a clue about it's origins (Cuban? Spanish?) and I don't know whether my recipe is at all "authentic," but since my unofficial culinary motto is "variations on a theme," this is what I went with:
ARROZ CON POLLO
I was after a saucy, slightly soupy even, one pot dish. Using brown rice gives the rice a chewy, almost barley-like consistency. And for those who aren't crazy about brown rice, this is a clever way to disguise it.
- 8 chicken thighs
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- one large onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 cans of fire-roasted diced green chilies
- 1 15 oz. can of fire-roasted tomatoes
- a pinch of saffron
- 2 tsps of chicken base (or 2 bouillion cubes)
- 1 1/4 cups of uncooked brown rice
- 6-8 large green pimiento-stuffed olives (whole or sliced in half width-wise)
- 1 1/2 cups of lager or pilsner beer (just not dark beer)
- water or broth (if needed)
- 1/2 can or jar (about a cup) of petite sweet peas, drained (Yes, canned! They are one of my guilty pleasures. Okay, frozen is fine, but canned adds a little sumthin'-sumthin'.)
Add oil to a large (lidded) saute pan and heat to medium-high. Salt and pepper the chicken and saute until nicely browned on both sides. Remove to a plate and keep warm.
Add onion, garlic, green chilies to pot and saute until onion is soft. Stir in tomatoes, saffron, and chicken base. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to pan. Reduce heat to medium. Cook for 10-15 minutes, flip chicken once during cooking. Add rice, beer, and olives, reduce heat to low, cover and continue cooking until rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Check periodically and if rice is looking too dry add a little water or broth if needed. Just before serving, stir in peas and warm through. Serves 4-6.
Serve with a green salad on the side, or for a heartier meal (to serve more people) serve seasoned black beans as well.