Thursday, October 4, 2007

arroz con pollo

arroz con pollo

I’ve already admitted that I’ve been a bit of a slack-ass with the whole cooking dinner on a weekday night, or pretty much any night, thing lately. Since I would hate to deprive you of all of the whiny reasons I’ve been inundating my husband with for not even making half an effort, I’ve decided to translate a few into bytes for you: I’m tiiiiired. I’ve been working soooooo much lately. Traaaaveling too! If I start now, we won’t eat until tomoooooorow. Also: I’m sooooo tiiiiiiired. Charming, right? Bet you wish you were here.

But I think that the one-pot meal could be the cure for all of your kitchen ailments. Don’t feel like cooking? But look–it’s dinner in one pot! Don’t feel like creating a pile of dishes? But it’s just one pot! (And a knife and a plate and a spoon, but shh, I don’t want to scare you off.) Have a lot of people coming over? One steamed vegetable and an easy soup and you’ve got a full-blown meal! Everyone arriving at different times? It’s okay, the one-pot meal is very forgiving of tardiness.

arroz con pollo

This past weekend, it even cured my whiny disinterest in cooking dinner. Friday night, I was in the mood for something hefty and simmery and not arriving by a delivery guy on a bike at all and Gourmet’s Arroz Con Pollo fit the bill. It was delicious. Warm, filling, easy to make, and equally delicious the next day, reheated.

Did you hear that? I ate leftovers. I hate leftovers. And yet, in both this dish and the fideos, I couldn’t wait to dig in. I had trouble waiting for it to finally heat. (In all honestly, we really didn’t.) And both were from the Latino America issue of Gourmet. If this is a sign, and I hope it is, I might cook just these Spanish-flavored dishes exclusively, because I’m starting to think that when I wasn’t in the mood to cook, I was just cooking the wrong, uninspiring things. Who knew?

arroz con pollo

What fun! I am loving all of the comments on the last entry–thank you! Of course, being reminded how awesome maple candy, nutella and chips and avocado/tomatillo salsa are just making me hungry, like all the time. But the peanut butter brownies are just a little bit safer, and so are my hips. Phew. Thank you!

One year ago: Roasted Acorn Squash with Chile Vinaigrette (Though I would never pick favorites, this is my favorite fall dish to date.)

Arroz Con Pollo (Cuban Chicken with Rice)
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine

The only think I’d change next time is to add much more kick to this recipe. I’d swap the regular paprika with the spicy stuff, and add quite a bit more. In addition, I might finely dice some green pepper on top, instead of the pimentos or red pepper strips. I think it might be a prettier, more texture-contrasted garnish. Oh, and I would skimp and only make a half-recipe, as I was actually sad when we ran out of this.

Serves 8

Chicken
3 large garlic cloves
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
4 chicken breast halves with bone, halved crosswise
4 chicken drumsticks
4 chicken thighs

Rice
3 ounces Spanish chorizo (cured sausage), skin discarded and sausage cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika, preferably the hot stuff, plus more to taste
2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
1 lb. tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 12-ounce. bottle beer (not dark)
1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups long-grain white rice (14 ounces)
1/4 cup drained rinsed bottled pimiento or roasted red pepper strips

Marinate chicken: Mince and mash garlic to a paste with 2 teaspoons salt, then transfer to a large bowl. Stir in vinegar and oregano.

Remove skin and excess fat from chicken, then toss chicken with marinade until coated and marinate, covered and chilled, at least 1 hour.

Cook chicken and rice: – Cook chorizo in olive oil in a 6- to 7-quart heavy pot (12 inches wide) over medium-high heat, stirring, until some fat is rendered, 2 to 3 minutes. Add onions, bell pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add cumin, oregano, paprika, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and bay leaves and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Add chicken with marinade to chorizo mixture and cook, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring frequently, 10 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes, beer, broth, and rice and bring to a boil, making sure rice is submerged. [Deb note: I actually had a really hard time keeping the rice underneath the chicken so that it would cook evenly. I'd suggest that you use tongs to temporarily remove the chicken from the pot, mix the rice in with the other ingredients in the pot, and then replace the chicken, pressing it into the broth a bit before going onto the next step. I will definitely do this next time.]

Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover mixture directly with a round of parchment or wax paper and cover pot with a tight fitting lid. Cook, stirring once or twice, until rice is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Discard parchment paper and bay leaves, then scatter pimiento strips over rice.

Do ahead: Chicken can be marinated up to 2 hours in advance.


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