Welcome to Life at the Holman's.


Within this blog, you will find everything from recipes to school ideas to everyday fun stuff and things we have learned along the way. From time to time you will find just a chronicle of our journey here in Oklahoma. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

What's for Dinner? Arroz con Pollo (Latin style Chicken and Rice)

*I neglected to insert the cooking temperature of the oven on the previous post.   You should preheat the oven to 350 degrees (see #4) for the addition.  


In a recent post, I mentioned that we like to buy our chicken in the 10 pound bulk bags and use the legs for fried chicken and the thighs for other meals.  Arroz con Pollo is one of the meals that we enjoy using the chicken thighs in.  


I originally discovered this recipe while watching American’s Test Kitchen on PBS.  Their goal was to take a more difficult version of the arroz con pollo recipe and making it more user friendly and easier to fix.  (You can find their original recipe on their website without all the tweaks that I have done.)   Please note:  I have never made this dish using any other recipe so I have no way of comparing it to the “harder” way.  However, I do know that hard way, easy way…this is a good way!

Arroz con Pollo  

Serve 4 to 6

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 plus 2 
additional teaspoons for the last step
1/2
teaspoon Ground black pepper 
6-8
bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed
of excess skin and fat  (To keep the dish
from becoming greasy, it is important to 
remove excess fat from the chicken thighs 
and trim the skin.)
2
tablespoons olive oil 
1
medium onion , chopped fine (about 1 cup)
1
small green bell pepper , stemmed, seeded,
and chopped fine (about 3/4 cup)
1/4
teaspoon hot red pepper flakes or a dash
of ground red pepper
1/4
cup minced fresh cilantro leaves (2 tbsp. 
reserved for final step)
1
can (8 ounces) tomato sauce 
1 3/4
cups low-sodium chicken broth 
1/4
cup water 
3
cups medium-grain rice (To use long-grain 
rice instead of medium-grain, increase the 
water to 3/4 cup in step 2.)
1/2
cup green olives, pitted and halved
Lemon wedges , for serving

1.  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.

2.  Heat 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, green pepper, and pepper flakes; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, 4 to 8 minutes.

3.  Add 2 tablespoons cilantro; stir to combine. Push vegetables to sides of pot and increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken to clearing in center of pot, skin side down, in even layer. Cook, without moving chicken, until outer layer of meat becomes opaque, 2 to 4 minutes. (If chicken begins to brown, reduce heat to medium.) Using tongs, flip chicken and cook on second side until opaque, 2 to 4 minutes more.

4.  Add tomato sauce, broth, and water; stir to combine. Bring to simmer; cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes.  About 10 minutes into cooking this portion, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 

5.  Add rice, olives, and 3/4 teaspoon salt; stir well. Bring to simmer again.  Then, cover and place pot in oven.  

6.  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.

7.  Using tongs, remove chicken from pot; replace lid and set pot aside. Remove and discard chicken skin.  Using 2 spoons, pull meat off bones into large chunks.  Using fingers, remove remaining fat or dark veins from chicken pieces. Place chicken in large bowl and toss with remaining tablespoon olive oil, remaining 2 teaspoons vinegar, and remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

8.  Place chicken on top of rice, cover, and let stand until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges and/or lemon juice.  

Tips
1.  After tossing the cooked chicken in the vinegar, olive oil, and cilantro, place the chicken on the rice and then cover the chicken and rice and place it back into the previously warmed oven (that is now turned off) to "reheat" the chicken.  


2.  I use my heavy bottomed dutch oven for this meal because I can go straight from the stove top to the over.  Before I had this pan, I would use my large stock pot and have to remove the handles from the sides because they were plastic.  However, I like using this pan because not only it is easier than disassembling my other pan, but I can also use it over 2 burners and be able to cook the meat on one side and the peppers and onions on the other.  


While this recipe is very involved, the most difficult part is the last step when you are trying to de-bone hot chicken.  It is well worth it though.  


We drizzle the top of our individual meal with lemon juice to give it a wonderful tanginess and usually serve lemonade to drink.  You can add a salad and pita bread for a nice addition.  Look for my upcoming homemade pita bread recipe!