Really Good Arroz con Pollo
Arroz con Pollo is just Spanish for Rice with Chicken.
Does that mean you can take a chicken and cook some rice, put them together and call it arroz con pollo?
You may, but the food police might arrest you.
I haven't made this traditional Spanish dish in years.
I have seen so many different Latino versions, Spanish versions and bad American versions.
Here is my version, and it's pretty damn good.
Stacey's Arroz con Pollo:
8 chicken thighs, with skin and bones
salt and pepper
olive oil for the dutch oven
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 slices of smoked ham (or bacon) chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 generous pinch of crumbled saffron threads
1 tsp of sweet paprika
1 red or green pepper, chopped
2 cups of chicken stock
1 1/2 cups of chopped canned tomatoes
1 cup of long grain rice (I had jasmine rice, not really traditional in this dish, but it came out great).
chopped fresh parsley
defrosted frozen peas
roasted red pepper strips for garnish (or pimento)
Season your chicken thighs w/ salt and pepper.
In a heavy dutch oven (Le Creuset is good) heat olive oil and add your chicken and brown on both sides for about 8 minutes until skin is getting crispy.
Remove chicken from pan with tongs and set aside.
Pour off all of the fat except for about 2 tablespoons.
Now add your onions, smoked ham, garlic and peppers. Saute a few minutes and add your spices: saffron, cumin, salt and paprika. Coat the onion mixture with the spice mixture for a minute.
Now add your stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil.
Add your 1 cup of rice to the pot and place your chicken pieces back in the pot on top of the rice.
Simmer this on low, partially covered for about 25-30 minutes, scraping up the brown bits that have stuck (yummy soccarat) to the bottom of the pan once or twice.
Garnish with peas, parsley and roasted red pepper strips.