April 5, 2010

goodeats: Arroz Con Pollo

Anytime Arroz Con Pollo is on the menu, I order it.   Arroz Con Pollo (literally meaning rice and chicken) is the perfect excuse to use Betty since it starts stove top and finishes off in the oven.  Coupled with its layers of flavor and intense colors of orange, red and green, Arroz Con Pollo is equally beautiful and delicious.  This is a great meal to cook for a small group since it makes a lot of food, but we always cook for two... meaning left overs for the whole week :)

 Arroz Con Pollo
Adapted from: For the Love of Cooking
Serving Size: 6 moderately sized plates
Fatty Meter: 1 being the healthiest, 5 being the fattiest.  I would rate this a 4 since it's dark chicken thigh meat including the skin and white rice all stewed in bacon fat.  Other then that, it fills you up with vegies! You could substitute with chicken breast and brown rice (boooooring)
-1 pack of chicken thighs with skin on (should be 6 pieces in one pack)
-4-6 slices of bacon, chopped (reserve half of bacon fat inside betty after cooking)
-2 bell peppers, diced (I used one red and one yellow for the color)
-1 onion, diced
-2 cups of white rice
-4 cups of chicken stock
-1 can of diced tomatoes (14-15 oz can)
-few cloves of garlic, minced
-1/4 cup of white wine (any wine you like to drink works)
-2 tsp of saffron sprigs
-spices for chicken: S&P, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup of frozen peas
-handful of cilantro, chopped, and a few sprigs for garnish
-juice of two limes
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Generously season chicken with all seasoning, don't be shy. In Betty, cook bacon for a few minutes.  Remove onto paper towels to drain before it gets too crispy (it will cook a little more in the oven).  Soak up some of the bacon grease with paper towels but leave an ample amount.  Chop up bacon and set aside. After, keep Betty on high heat and place chicken thigh's skin down.  You should hear a really great sizzle as soon as the skin touches.  If you don't...Betty's not hot enough.
2) Cook chicken on both sides until you develop a nicely crusted skin (see photo below) Should be about 5-7 minutes on the skin side.  You won't cook the chicken through, but that's alright as it will finish cooking in the oven.  Set chicken aside on a plate.
3) Add in vegies and saute for a minute or two.  Add in wine to deglaze bacon and chicken bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add in garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.
4) Add in diced tomatoes, rice, bacon pieces, saffron and chicken stock.  Bring to a boil, and lower heat to simmer.  Simmer for about 10-12 minutes until rice is at a porridge consistency.  It won't be cooked through yet, and a little bit of liquid should remain.  Place chicken on top of the rice, skin side up, place lid on top and throw into pre-heated oven.
5) Bake for about 15 minutes or until rice has absorbed liquid and chicken is fully cooked.  Plate chicken separately and mix in peas, chopped cilantro and a good amount of salt and pepper to the rice (you will need a lot of salt).  Finish of with lime juice and plate with the chicken.  Enjoy!

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