Arroz con Pollo is a rooster and rice dish common in Spain and Latin America. Whereas its origin is troublesome to hint, it’s seemingly an adaptation of the Paella, a staple Spanish (Valencian) rice dish relationship way back to the fifteenth century. As with many dishes stemming from Spain’s exploration and colonization, Arroz con Pollo deliciously marries each worlds; Spanish rice and method mix with components native to the Americas (particularly tomatoes and peppers).
There are dozens of variations on Arroz con Pollo, and I totally count on a couple of feedback under lamenting the truth that my model will not be precisely like abuelita’s recipe. It’s comprehensible that this dish evokes some pretty uncooked emotion, as it’s carefully aligned with what I’d contemplate consolation meals. I discover that there’s magnificence in creating a private model of an oft-tweaked recipe; I feel that personalization is a part of being human, and the various variations of this dish stand as a testomony to this idea.
Some widespread further add-ins for Arroz con Pollo embody pimento-stuffed inexperienced olives, beer, and/or ham. Its flavoring paste, often known as sofrito, can also be the topic of some debate; some name for tomatoes, others eschew them, and nonetheless others use an added fats like lard or olive oil.
Whereas Spanish Arroz con Pollo recipes name for saffron, recipes within the Caribbean and Americas make use of a special technique to provide the rice a golden hue: annatto oil, typically known as achiote oil. Annatto is a flavorless seed that’s used as pure meals coloring (eagle-eyed readers might bear in mind it from my Kare Kare recipe a pair years again).
To make annatto oil, you merely toast some seeds in oil – however just for a second, since any longer will flip the seeds black and impart a bitter style – then steep the seeds within the oil till cool. This step will not be required, however is value the additional effort when you’ve got entry to annatto seeds.
Arroz con Pollo (Gluten-free, Excellent Well being Eating regimen)
Annatto/Achiote Oil (non-obligatory, see notice under)
1 tsp annatto seeds
3 tbsp avocado or coconut oil
Sofrito (yields ~4 cups)
1 giant Spanish/candy onion, quartered (about 2 cups)
4 roma tomatoes, quartered (about 2 cups)
1 spicy chile pepper (habanero, jalapeno, ají dulce), stems and seeds eliminated, extra to style
10 cloves garlic
1 bunch cilantro, stems included
1/2 crimson bell pepper (see notice under)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp coriander seeds (or 1/4 tsp floor coriander)
4 bone-in, skin-on rooster thighs, seasoned with salt and pepper
1.5 cups white rice (bomba, calasparra, or arborio rice most popular, see notice under)
3 cups rooster inventory, room temperature
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 crimson bell pepper, cubed
salt and pepper to style
1. Make the annatto oil. Warmth the annatto seeds within the oil over medium-low warmth till simply beginning to sizzle, about three minutes. Take away from warmth and permit to steep till the oil cools to room temperature, about 10 minutes. Pressure the seeds from the oil and discard the seeds.
2. Whereas the oil cools, make the sofrito. Mix the entire components in a meals processor, and course of till uniform. Divide into 4 1-cup parts; we’ll solely want one cup for in the present day’s recipe. Freeze the remainder for future tasks (see notice under the recipe).
3. Heat the annatto oil in a big skillet over medium-high warmth till shimmering, about 2 minutes. Place the rooster thighs within the oil, skin-side-down; prepare dinner till brown and crispy, about 6 minutes, then flip and brown the opposite facet. Take away from the skillet and put aside; scale back warmth to medium.
4. Add 1 cup of the sofrito to the pan. Saute, stirring usually, till a lot of the liquid has evaporated and the sofrito takes on an oily texture, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and inventory, stir to mix, then carry to a simmer whereas stirring continually. Add the rooster items and any amassed juices, then scatter the peas and bell pepper excessive. Cowl (go away a bit area for air to flee), scale back warmth to low, and simmer till the rooster is tender and the rice has absorbed a lot of the liquid, about 20 minutes. Style and add salt and pepper as wanted; serve with cilantro and lime wedges.
*** You’re welcome to purchase two halves of a crimson pepper, however I constructed this recipe in order that half of the pepper goes into the sofrito, whereas the opposite half goes into the rice. When you’re utilizing leftover sofrito, merely purchase a small crimson pepper and use the entire thing!
*** I want to make use of paella (bomba, calasparra) or risotto (arborio) rice for this recipe. Whereas typical long-grain or calrose rices will work, they will be apt to get a bit mushy. Paella and risotto rices are a bit creamier and maintain their texture higher. Paella rice can take in a bit extra liquid than the opposite varieties, so think about using 4.5 cups of inventory (or just one.25 cups of rice) for this recipe. When you’re going to make use of lengthy grain or calrose rice, contemplate toasting it a bit in a separate pan with some oil over medium warmth till it turns golden brown earlier than including the rice throughout step #4. This may permit assist forestall the rice from getting mushy.
*** When you don’t have entry to annatto seeds, however nonetheless need a yellow tint to your rice, you should use saffron. Add 1 pinch of crushed saffron (about 10 threads) if you add the inventory in step #4 under; skip step #1, and use plain avocado or coconut oil in step #3.
This sofrito is a straightforward method so as to add tons of taste to your favourite dishes. Add it to soups and stews, chilis, and even your fried eggs. It freezes very well; a lot of folks prefer to freeze it in ice dice trays for comfort. When you’ve got entry to culantro, a heartier and extra pungent model of cilantro, add a small handful of it (about 6 leaves) to your sofrito for some added zing.