Thursday, August 5, 2010

Arroz Con Pollo

I have always loved Spanish rice and so when I saw this recipe on one of my favorite foodie blogs, I could not wait to give it a try. Nick loved it, which is good because we had enough leftovers for a week since I didn't think to cut the recipe in half.


6 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
Table salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
Ground black pepper
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), trimmed of excess skin and fat
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
1 small green and/or red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 bunch minced fresh cilantro leaves, divided
1 cup ketchup
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup water
3 cups long-grain rice
Some fresh chopped tomatoes and your choice of Mexican cheese, for topping (optional)
Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place garlic and 1 teaspoon salt in large bowl; using rubber spatula, mix to make smooth paste. Add oregano, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to garlic-salt mixture; stir to combine. Place chicken in bowl with marinade. Coat chicken pieces evenly with marinade; set aside for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and pepper flakes; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begin to soften. Push the onions and peppers to sides of pot and increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken to clearing in center of pot, in even layer. Cook, without moving chicken, until outer layer of meat becomes opaque. (If chicken begins to brown, reduce heat to medium). Using tongs, flip chicken and cook on second side until opaque. Add ketchup, broth, and water; stir to combine. Bring to simmer; cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add rice, bell peppers, half of the chopped cilantro and 3/4 teaspoon salt; stir well. Bring to simmer, cover, and place pot in oven. After 10 minutes, remove pot from oven and stir chicken and rice once from bottom up. Return pot to oven. After another 10 minutes, stir once more, adding 1/4 cup water if rice appears dry and bottom of pot is beginning to burn. Cover and return pot to oven; cook until rice has absorbed all liquid and is tender but still holds its shape and temperature of chicken registers 175 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes longer.

Using tongs, remove chicken from pot; replace lid and set pot aside. Using 2 forks, pull meat apart into large chunks. Using fingers or forks, remove remaining fat or dark veins from chicken pieces. Place chicken back into the pot on top of rice, cover, and let stand until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining chopped cilantro, folding in to combine. Top with fresh tomatoes and cheese and serve with lemon wedges. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from:

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