ARROZ CON POLLO WITH CILANTRO CHIMICHURRI
Arroz con pollo means “rice with chicken.” It is a traditional dish of Spain. This recipe speaks more to a Mexican palette, with a salute to Argentina. The cilantro chimichurri gives this dish an added fresh acidic bite. One of the benefits of this delicious meal is it only involves one pot. How wonderful life is when you can bring an exquisite supper to the table with a single pot. Easy clean up gives me more time with the family. If only all dishes could be this perfect!
4-5 chicken thighs bone-in skin on
4-5 chicken drumsticks skin on
1/4 cup of olive oil for quick marinade
1/4 cup of olive oil for frying
1 tablespoon of adobo seasoning
1/2 onion finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, 1/4 julienned (thin strips) 1/4 finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, 1/2 julienned (thin strips) 1/4 finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic chopped
2 cups long grain white rice
1 cup white wine
3 cups chicken stock homemade when possible
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 cup frozen peas
1 bay leaf
Handful of green onions for garnish
Salt to taste
Ingredients for Chimchurri
1/4 cup cilantro chopped
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley chopped
2 green onions chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 jalapeño finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon with zest
3 tablespoons of olive oil
salt to taste
Arroz con Pollo preparation
Season chicken with 1/4 cup of olive oil and adobo seasoning. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Add olive oil to a Dutch oven style pot. Set burner to medium-high heat. Fry chicken in batches to avoid crowding pot. Fry the chicken skin down for crispy skin. Set chicken aside when done.
If you have excess oil in pot after frying, turn off heat and ladle out a little so the rice isn’t to greasy. Return heat to medium-high and sauté chopped onions, garlic, and the green and red peppers for 2-3 minutes to soften. Add rice and brown for 3-4 minutes. Salt to taste.
Add tomato paste for sweetness and color. Incorporate tomato paste into rice and sauté for 1 minute. Pour wine into rice and reduce until wine is evaporated. Pour 3 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil. Then add frozen peas, julienned peppers and bay leaf.
Place chicken into pot skin up, cover, and bake for 20 minutes.
While chicken and rice are baking make chimichurri. Place cilantro, parsley, green onions, jalapeño, olive oil, lemon juice, cumin and salt into a bowl. Set aside as condiment. After 20 minutes take arroz con pollo out of oven and remove the lid. Taste rice for seasoning. Sprinkle chopped green onions into pot.
1. Adobo seasoning is found in the spice aisle in most supermarkets. It is a combination of salt, garlic, onion, cumin, turmeric, pepper, chipotle pepper and oregano.
2. You are not limited to frozen peas. Any frozen or fresh vegetable medley that you like will work fine in this recipe. You can also add chopped kale or chard when sautéing your vegetables.
3. The chicken skin inevitably becomes slightly softened in this dish. I do not eat the skin I just use it for the flavor it adds. However, I have seen others devour the soft skin.
4. If your looking to make this a Spanish arroz con pollo you would add green olives with pimento. Saffron would also be a classic addition.
5. I listened to Lila Downs music to get in the right state of mind to cook this meal.