Jun 12, 2010

Arroz con pollo

So one of the major ways I've learned to cook random things is to read about a half dozen sources, integrate the knowledge, and finally try something.  That's pretty much what happened here.  Sources include Dent, Cook's Illustrated, and the interwebs.

The concept, brought up by Cook's, was to do a decent to good arroz con pollo in a single pot.  This is harder than it sounds but far from impossible.

The pot

Cast iron dutch ovens are magic.  Especially when well-seasoned.  Nothing bar nothing translates better from the stove top to the oven.

The marinade

First step is to get your chicken marinating.  This worked for me:
  • Chopped garlic.  Lots.
  • White wine vinegar.  Straight white vinegar ought to work.
  • Dried oregano
  • A bit of cumin
  • Chicken, of course.  I used breasts, four of them,  because I just always use breasts....
Let all that sit for some time; probably over an hour and less than three.

Start the process

Add oil to your dutch oven, heat it, chunk up an onion, and saute.

Take the heat up and brown your marinated chicken on all sides, reserving the marinade.

To the marinade, add:
  • 1 bag frozen peas.  No, seriously.
  • 1 container of extra hot green chile (I happen to like Bueno; nothing tastes quite like pure hatch)
After the chicken has browned (god bless the Maillard reaction) add:
  • Remaining marinade with additions
  • 2 cans or one box of chicken broth
  • Red pepper flakes if so desired
  • 4 tomatoes, nicely chunked up
  • Roughly 3 cups of rice (short or medium grain would be traditional but use what you have)
Bring that to a boil, cover it, and toss it in the oven at 350 for half an hour or so.

Pull that out, toss it up, and you've got quite the meal.  Serve with perhaps cilantro or pico de gallo.

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