Hello! I apologize for taking such a break in between posts; but I promised that my next post would be more of a meal and less of a baked good. I’ve had Arroz con Pollo prepared in different ways, restaurants and home cooks seem to have different methods of preparing this dish. When I set out to make it I was hoping to get the same orange colored rice that I remember from being a little guy, but it was not to be!
Unlike French and Creole cuisines that rely on the bases Mirepoix and Trinity as their respective bases, most Spanish, Caribbean and Latin American cuisines find flavor in sofrito. There are a few prepared versions of sofrito available in jars at a grocery store, but it is summer and tomatoes and peppers are in season; sogate why not make our own?
4 plum Tomatos
2 Spanish Onions
2 bunches of cilantro*
3 cubanelle peppers
16-20 pieces of garlic (fresh or cured)
1 red pepper
*Note, if you don’t like cilantro’s dominant flavor, feel free to use just a bunch and a half.
Loosely chop up the cubanelles, tomatoes red pepper and onion, afterwards peel the garlic.
This next step requires a bit of machination or a lot of manpower. I was pretty hungry last night, so I opted for the easy way, but if you have a mezzaluna, a large mortar and pestle, or excellent knife skills, please pulverize the vegetables into a paste…
Otherwise, place the onions and cubanelles into the work bowl of a food processor and chop loosely using pulse–in the end this will be like a salsa– then use the food processor until it is spinning continually and ad d the ingredients one at a time, and then when it looks like it might go well with tortilla chips it’s ready.
The recipe that I am using for Arroz con Pollo is a combination of recipes I have read, and some of my own taste.
- Arroz Con Pollo:
- the shredded meat of a chicken
- 5 cups of homemade chicken broth (store bought is okay if you must)
- 4 cups of long grain white rice
- /2 cup & then some sofrito
- 1 tsp of ground cumin, 1/4 tsp of cloves
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup of olive oil (anchiote oil if at al possible)
- 1/2 cup of pimento stuffed olives, coarsely chopped
- 2 roasted red peppers
Before I go into the process, it is worth saying that Arroz con Pollo is usually prepared with cubed or pieces of chicken, the other night I made chicken broth and had all of the meat already cooked, so instead of tossing the tattered poultry into some mayo-laden salad, Arroz con Pollo is a vehicle to glorify carcass and meat together–as was intended!
Place two ten inch skillets over high heat and add the olive oil and heat until it shimmers. Then when you are sure it is hot, add half of the sofrito to each skillet and cook until all of the water is cooked out of the vegetables, you will know when this happens because it will no longer hiss or bubble and the sofrito will turn a light brown. Season this mixture generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Next add two cups of rice into each skillet. Toss the rice to coat it in oil and to toast them. Next add the cumin and cloves, after a moment add the chicken and olives , and chicken broth. Bring this to a boil, cover and drop the skillets to low heat. Once all of the liquid has been absorbed [20 minutes depending on kPA, psi, altitude &c.] the meal is complete!