Friday, April 22, 2011

Recipe Swap - Arroz con Pollo

This recipe for Arroz con Pollo, submitted by Amanda, was my recipe swap from a few weeks ago. I was very, very late making it because my grandmother was admitted to the hospital while she was in town visiting a few weekends ago. She's perfectly fine and back home resting, but it threw off my entire meal plan for the week. I finally made this for Sunday dinner this week and it was tasty. Definitely something new and different for us.

While I was cooking I had an episode of America's Test Kitchen on in the background. They happened to be making a no-stir risotto so I stopped to listen to the method. They recommended toasting the rice in the pan, then adding the liquid all at once and only stirring a few times. I decided to modify the Arroz con Pollo recipe so I could toast the rice with the vegetables and spices before adding the liquid. My changes are reflected below. I also added peas for color and because other recipes I've seen included them.

Arroz con Pollo
Modified from Epicurious

Note: The original recipe suggested using wine if you used sweet sausage and beer if you used hot.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. chicken parts (I used two bone-in breasts)
1 lb. sweet or hot Italian sausage, cut in 2-inch pieces
1 small onion, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 cups medium-grain rice (I used arborio rice)
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine or beer
1 bay leaf
2 1/4 cups water
1 cup frozen peas, thawed

In a deep, heavy-based pot (such as a Dutch oven), heat the oil on medium high. Pat the chicken dry and liberally season with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Saute the chicken, in batches if necessary, until golden on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Saute the sausage until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer the sausage to the platter. Pour off and discard the excess oil, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pot.

Reduce the heat to medium and saute the onion, pepper, and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin, paprika, chili powder, and turmeric, if using, stirring to distribute the spices. Add the rice and toast until the edges become translucent, about 3 minutes.

Return the chicken and sausage to the pot then add the tomatoes, wine (or beer), bay leaf and water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the rice is done and the liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to prevent the rice from sticking. Add peas and allow to warm through. Give a toss and then let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
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