November 2, 2009

Arroz con Pollo - a Family Tradition

Tonight’s post is a meal that was a favorite standby at my childhood dinner table. It’s one of the first meals that I really remember watching dad make, and taking in what he was doing.  I remember watching when he measured, how he improvised, what he prepared in advance to make the process go smoothly.  I also have distinct memories of stirring batters for cookies and cakes with my mom, and watching holiday dinners being made, but my first real cooking experience started with this easy chicken and rice dish.  It is comfort food at it’s best and it’s a dish Sam and I still love to make.  It’s quick enough for a weeknight meal, but also feels right at home on a chilly Sunday night.  Best of all, this recipe leaves lots of leftover rice and veggies that I am going to try to turn into a tasty version of a burrito tomorrow.  I’ll let you know how it goes!  

Arroz con Pollo
(2 servings + 2 extra servings of rice and vegetables)


2 chicken breasts, bone-in and skin on
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 c. chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
1 red pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 orange pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
¼ tsp. saffron
1 c. tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
½ c. dry white wine
1 c. white rice
1 bay leaf
1 c. chicken stock
Salt & Pepper
½ c. frozen green peas


Salt and pepper the chicken.  Heat the oil in a heavy sauté pan.  Add the chicken skin side down and cook for about 4 minutes until golden.  Turn and cook until browned on the underside, about 3 minutes. Scatter the onion, garlic, peppers, and saffron over the chicken.  Stir the chicken so that the vegetables fall in between.  Continue cooking for about 3 minutes.  Add the tomato and wine and stir.  Add the rice and stir to distribute evenly. Add the bay leaf and pour the broth over it all.  Let simmer for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is done.  Sprinkle with peas and cook for another 3 minutes.  Serve once peas are completely cooked.

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