If you live in South Florida or pretty much anywhere in the United States where there is a Latin culture, ARROZ CON POLLO (Chicken with Rice) is a staple. Throughout Mexico, Central and South America and some of the Carribean Islands, each country has their own way of doing this dish. I moved to South Florida initially back in 1981 and this was the first time I was exposed to the Cuban version. The Cuban culture is very strong here and many wonderful dishes have been brought with the people who have left Cuba. I always seem to change bits and pieces of most recipes to fit with a healthy lifestyle. I am sure that many of you have had Arroz Con Pollo before but it is fun and exciting to create it at home for your family and friends. Salud!!!
ARROZ CON POLLO (CHICKEN WITH RICE)
2 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless Chicken Thighs or Breasts, cut into 3 inch squares 1 teaspoon dried Oregano 1 teaspoon ground Cumin Ground Black Pepper 2 Tablespoons fresh Lime Juice 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 teaspoons Annatto Seeds (found in Publix where Badia spices are located) or 1 teaspoon Saffron threads 1 medium Sweet Onion, chopped 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped 3 cloves Garlic, minced 3 Tablespoons chopped Cilantro 1 small Tomato, seeded and chopped 1 cup dry White Wine 1/2 cup Beer 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste 3 1/2 cups Chicken Broth (I recommend Bone Broth) 2 cups uncooked Brown Rice, cooked with 4 cups water 1/2 cup Green Olives with Pimientos, sliced 1 cup Frozen Green Peas 1/2 cup chopped Red Pimientos
1) In a large bowl, combine the Chicken, Oregano, Cumin, 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper and Lime Juice. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. 2) Heat the Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a large deep ovenproof skillet over medium heat and add the Annatto Seeds. Cook for 3 minutes until the oil turns red and the seeds begin to crackle, then remove the seeds and discard. Add the Onions, Red Bell Pepper, Garlic and Cilantro. Cook for 3 minutes until the Onions are translucent. Add the chopped Tomato and cook another minute. Add the Chicken and cook for 3 minutes until it begins to change color from raw. Add the Wine and Beer at this time and bring to a boil. 3) Add the Tomato Paste and the broth. Bring to a boil and season with Salt and Pepper to taste. Stir in the cooked Brown Rice and cook the dish at a simmer. If the rice absorbs too much of the Broth, add more. 4) During the last 5 mintues of cooking, add the Olives, Peas and Pimientos. An incredible meal. Delisioso!!!!