Arroz con pollo (ah-rose-con-POY-yo) is excellent for a family feast. It is easy to make in large quantities, and can be prepared in advance, improving the flavor as it waits to be served.
Cubans-style chicken and rice gets it color from saffron. My version is made with boneless, skinless chicken breast and thighs. This will cut down on the cook time and fat content, making it healthier for you and your family, but not leaving out any of the great flavors. I also use brown rice instead of the traditional short grain Valencia rice.
I also like to make mine where the finished dish is actually a little soupy-what we call asopado or a la chorera. But you can experiment with different amounts of chicken stock, water, and vino seco until you get yours exactly as dry or as wet as you like it.
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 2″ squares
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless thighs, cut into 2″ squares
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium spanish onion, chopped
- 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups brown rice
- 1 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1 cup vino seco (dry white wine)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 4 cups chicken broth, fat-free, reduced-sodium
- 2 bay leafs
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 15 oz. can low-sodium, early young sweet peas, drained
- 1 small jar red pimentos, chopped
In a large re-sealable bag, combine chicken, lime juice, oregano, and cumin. Seal and marinate for 30 minutes. Place the saffron threads in 2 tablespoons of warm water, set aside.
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, green and red peppers, garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes till the vegetables are softened. Add the rice and mix well, 2-3 minutes. Add the marinated chicken and cook until chicken turns white, about 3 minutes. Add the saffron with water.
Add the chicken broth, wine, and bay leaf bring to a boil. Add tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste. Cover a simmer in low heat for 30-40 minutes, or until the rice is tender. If the rice starts to dry out, add more broth. If mixture looks to soupy to you’re liking, remove the cover.
Just before the rice is finished, stir in the pimentos and drained peas.
Makes 6-8 servings.