Posted on | November 14, 2009 | 10 Comments
Today I cooked arroz con pollo for my guys – that’s rice with chicken. It’s a staple of pretty much every Latin American country, although they’ve all got their own special take on it.
In Peru cooking style, it’s sometimes called ‘arroz verde’ or green rice, because it contains a LOT of cilantro (also called coriander). It’s usually served with papas a la huancaina, and often an avocado salad.
Here’s how I make my arroz con pollo.
4 chicken thighs (or 2 legs, 2 thighs)
3 cups of rice vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup of aji amarillo (yellow chili pepper – check your Latin market) finely chopped in the blender or food processor
1 cup of cilantro/coriander – liquefied (see the recipe for seco de pollo for directions on doing this)
2 large handfuls of green pea pods – shell them, and use the peas, not the pods!
About a half a cup of carrot cut up into cubes (You can substitute a can of peas and carrots for the veggies)
2-1/2 cups of chicken stock/bouillon.
1/2 cup of beer
Salt and pepper
Put about 1/2 cup of oil in a dutch oven or stew pan.
Salt and pepper your chicken thighs, then brown them in the oil.
Remove them from the pan, and then add the onion, garlic, cilantro and aji. Stir it around a bit until the onion starts to turn golden and translucent.
Add the chicken back in and pour in the beer.
Let it cook until the chicken is cooked through. Take the chicken back out and set it aside covered where it will stay warm – in a very low temperature oven or on the back of your range top is good.
Put the rice, shelled peas, carrot and chicken stock into the mix.
Add salt and pepper as necessary here, then cover tightly to cook the rice.
Serve the rice together with the chicken.
Ok – now for the truth – I can NEVER cook rice right on the stove top, so I do my chicken on the stove top, then throw everything into the rice cooker at the end and let it all cook together there. It comes out perfect every time. If you are opposed to cooking with beer, just replace it with chicken stock.
If you’re short on time, don’t feel bad about using a small can of peas and carrots instead of fresh.
For more Peruviness, (that’s like grooviness, only Peruvian) throw in a handful or two of Andean corn kernals (choclo) if you can find it – if not, regular corn will do.
You might also want to add a little bit of thinly sliced red bell pepper. I don’t because everyone in my house just picks it out – but if you look around on the internet, you’ll find that a lot of recipes and pictures show it.
And finally – if you want to take a REAL short cut, try this – Provenzal Arroz Con Pollo Chicken and Rice Stew-soup Base 2.04 Oz. I’ve used it often because it makes cooking quick and easy. Just add it to your rice, throw in the veggies, and you’re ready to go. I’ve also added a spoonful of the mix to my regular chicken soup and it makes it taste very ‘Peruvian’ – my father in law said it was the best chicken soup he’d ever had. (We didn’t tell him my secret!)
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