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Arroz con Pollo (Chicken with Rice)

March 22, 2010

By Kath Dedon

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I don’t know how authentic it is, but I like Mark Bittman’s version of Arroz con Pollo in his cookbook,  The Best Recipes in the World. I like his style of taking recipes that might seem complicated in other cookbooks and making them very approachable.

I used chicken broth, but you could just use water. Mark points out that because you’ve got the chicken, vegetables, and seasonings cooking together with the rice, it will still be quite flavorful if you use water.

He says the recipe will serve 4. I think it would easily serve 4 – 6. I cut it in half; we had 2 servings last night, and there is a generous serving for me to take for lunch today.

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Arroz con Pollo

(Adapted from Mark Bittman’s recipe in The Best Recipes in the World)

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(printable recipe)

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Serves 2 – 3 (easily doubles)

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About 2 ounces bacon, diced

1½ cups chicken stock, or water

Large pinch of saffron threads

½ onion (about ¼ pound), diced

4 chicken thighs (1½ – 2 pounds total)

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ red bell pepper, diced

Salt and pepper to taste

¾ cup white rice

1/16 teaspoon ground allspice (eyeball about ¼ of a ¼ teaspoon)

1 bay leaf

½ cup frozen peas

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1. Put the bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is getting crisp.

2. Heat the stock, or water, to boiling (I used my microwave oven) and crumble the saffron threads into it. Stir well.

3. Add the onion and the chicken, skin side down, to the pan with the bacon. Brown the chicken, turning it occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper and sprinkle everything with salt and pepper. Continue to brown the chicken for about 5 minutes more.

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4. Take the chicken and vegetables out of the pan. Add the rice, and cook, stirring, until the rice is glossy. It takes about 3 minutes. Add the allspice, bay leaf, peas and stock. Then put the chicken and vegetables back in the pan. Reduce heat so it is simmering.

5. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken is done, the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked.

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