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Monday, June 24, 2013

Arroz con Pollo

Do you realize in this huge collection of cookbooks that you don't have one Cuban cookbook?  My friend Raquel was perusing my collection.  She hit the nail on the head.  Other than one ill-fated attempt to make ropa Viejo and a successful attempt to make a Cuban Sandwich, I'd never really tried Cuban cooking.  Given her Cuban heritage, Raquel is a fabulous Cuban cook. 

We met for lunch not too long ago and Estefan Kitchen was her gift to me.  I put it in the stack of cookbooks to read.  I finally got it read.  Loved the recipes.  Then, I made the list of recipes to try.  Too many to count.  Finally, I got an evening at home and time to cook.  Arroz Con Pollo it was. 

Let's just say that if everything in this cookbook is as good as this dish, the cookbook will be dog-eared shortly.  YUM!  She assures me this is the real stuff.  She uses the recipes and they taste like her mom's cooking.  Even better.  I love making the real stuff! 

Now, we're dieting around here.  A recipe that calls for two chickens and four cups of rice and one green pepper and one onion is not a good thing for two people.  Consequently, I made some adjustments.  The veggie ratio went way up.  Connie's only negative comment was that he'd increase the amount of tomato sauce.  Well, I already increased it by four....  This reminded me a lot of a dish my friend Sally gave me the recipe for - in 1976.  Hers was Mexican rice and chicken so it didn't have the oregano, cumin, white wine or pimento.  I like this better because the flavors are far more complex.  This one will be a regular on our dinner table!  Nota bene:  As usual, I didn't follow the directions very well.  By doing so I managed to shave about 20 minutes off the prep time.  The directions below are how I made the dish...  f

Arroz con Pollo


2 chicken thighs, skinned, bone-in
salt and pepper
1 T olive oil
1 green pepper, chopped
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 4 oz jar pimentos - do not drain
1 c converted rice
8 oz tomato sauce
1 13/75 oz can chicken broth
1 c dry white wine
2 t dried oregano
1/2 t ground cumin
1 c frozen peas


Pour the olive oil into a dutch oven or large skillet you can cover tightly.  Once the olive oil is shimmering, sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper then put them in skin side down.  Allow them to brown for a few minutes, then flip them.  Add the other ingredients except for the peas. 

Stir a bit and make sure all there's nothing hanging out on top of the chicken.  Cover the pot and simmer on medium heat for about 30 minutes or until the rice is cooked.  Stir in the peas and cook for another 5 minutes

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