Monday, November 17, 2008

Arroz con Pollo



Only serendipity can explain how this treasure made it from Latin America to my permanent recipe roster. About a decade ago I was asked to participate in a cooking demonstration for folks receiving food stamps. The dish, obviously, had to be inexpensive and easy to prepare, but I also wanted to come up with something that fell outside the pale of the usual "101 Ways to Cook" recipes. I was thumbing through an unfamiliar magazine looking for inspiration when I stumbled on this recipe by Sarah Jay. It is a no longer buried treasure, and that unfamiliar magazine went on to become a must read --- Fine Cooking. I've served this dish to friends and family for years now, and chances are if you've eaten at my table you've had this at least once. One caution - be sure to remove the skin from the chicken. While the bones help define the shape of chicken pieces, exposure to steam and stock will cause the skin to become limp and unappealing. Arroz con Pollo stole the show at the demonstration and it has remained a favorite of mine. All the ingredients are readily available and it is still inexpensive to prepare. I know you'll like this one. It's great family fare.

Arroz con Pollo

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil; more as needed
6 - 8 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs, liberally seasoned with salt and
pepper, then lightly dredged in flour
1/2 to 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, cut in 2-inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium green or red bell pepper, cut in 1/2-inch dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon sweet smoked Spanish paprika(optional)
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 cup peeled, fresh or canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine or beer (optional)
1 bay leaf
2 cups medium-grain rice
2-1/4 cups chicken stock or water

Directions:
1) Saute chicken in a large (12-inch) skillet until golden on all sides, about 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter.
2) Saute sausage until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer sausage to platter. Pour off and discard excess oil, leaving about 1 tablespoon in pan.
3) Saute onion, pepper, and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Return chicken and sausage to pan; add cumin, paprika (if using), chili powder, and turmeric, and cook for 1 minute, stirring to distribute spices. Add tomatoes, wine (if using), and bay leaf and cook for another 2 minutes.
4) Add rice and water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the rice is done and liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Lightly toss mixture; let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

15 comments:

bakinbits said...

Mary, this is the recipe that has christened every new LeCreuset pot that I purchased! An absolutely wonderul dish that my family loves. In my computer file it is under "Laurelhill's Arroz con Pollo" -- a wintertime favorite here, but delicious any time.

sparkly_jules said...

Oh this looks so fabulously yummy. I'm totally going to make this. Is that cilantro I see in the picture? Yummy.

But what is a "1/4 teaspoon sweet smoked Spanish (optional)?" Is that supposed to be Paprika?

I adore your blog.

I'm making the Sister Sarah Apple Pudding cake, probably tomorrow. :-)

XO,

Jules

Martha said...

This is a favorite of ours as well.

Cathy said...

This dish looks so yummy and flavorful. I love a one dish meal like this and I know my family will love it too. A tried and true recipe like this is a treasure. Thanks for sharing.

Mary said...

It is so nice to know that this recipe is being used. You've made Laurelhill a happy woman.

Jules, thanks for the heads up. This is why one needs friends. I'll change it posthaste. Your guess was correct.

Allie said...

Sounds wonderful I'm for sure making this!

Maria said...

Nice colors!! This dish looks fantastic!

Candy said...

Yum, and what a great idea for cooking lessons. I was just talking to my college age son this weekend about how to save money and the subject of making inexpensive yet delicious meals came up!

Pam said...

I've always wanted to make arroz con pollo but have never found a tasty recipe...until now. Can't wait to try it!

The Inexperienced Foodie said...

Oh my that looks so tasty I have never tried that with the red peppers yummmm!

Becky said...

Mary it looks fabulous. Wish I could've had dinner with you tonight. As Regina says, it really is delicious anytime!

Susan said...

Oh it looks so good and yes, we had it for dinner last night. What a delightful dish. Thank you for sharing. Had all the ingredients in the house so that was even a bigger treat. Will be a favorite for a long time to come. Susan

Mary said...

Becky and Susan, it's always nice to see new names appear on the blog. I hope you both will come back often.

Kevin said...

This looks really tasty!

Anonymous said...

I couldnt decide what I wanted to make for dinner so I rememeber a dish my grandmother use to make us when she was alive.I didnt know all the ingredients but i new some. So i googled arroz con polo and I found your recipe. I made it last nite and it took me back to my child hood back to the smells of my grandmothers kitchen. The recipe was such a hit with my family. Thank you so very much not only did we have a fabulous meal but I also got to share fond memories of my childhoodwith my grandmother. This is a dish that brings that whole family to the table. Thank You so much for sharing it. Meredith Cooper

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