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Arroz con pollo

I I am trying to conceptualizer a one pot Mexican-style arroz con pollo in which I would first braise chicken thighs, then remove them from the pot, strain the braising liquid, and then use the braising liquid to cook the rice (I have found that when I cook the chicken and rice together at the same time it is hard to control the cook on the two elements, so I was thinking of cooking them sequentially this way to see if I could get perfect rice and perfect chicken more reliably). Once the rice is done, I like to put the thighs under the broiler for a few minutes to recrisp the skin. My question is, since the thighs will be cooled off from resting while the rice is cooking, do you think a few minutes under the broiler would be enough to reheat them sufficiently for serving? I could put them back in the pot for a few minutes and then broil them for another few minutes after that, but if I can avoid the extra step it would be nice! I don't want to try it, have them not be hot enough, and then have to ruin the skin by putting them back in the pot after broiling, so I thought I'd gather some opinions first.

Kristen W. is a trusted home cook.

asked over 1 year ago
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added over 1 year ago

Why not sear the chicken first to attain the crisp skin you are after, set it aside. Then start the rice ( depending on the type of rice) then add the chicken halfway to thoroughly cook them together. I am imagining a paella style here, if that is what you are after.

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Kristen W.

Kristen W. is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

I do seat it first; I find that the skin never stays crispy during the braising process. Also, I have done it the way you describe but I would like to try it sequentially to better control the cook on the two elements.

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Kristen W.

Kristen W. is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

I do sear it first, but I find that the crisp skin never survives the braising process. I've also done it the way you describe, but am looking to try my way asan experiment to better control the variables.

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Kristen W.

Kristen W. is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

Oops, thought the first post didn't make it!

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Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago


Similar to Sandra's suggestion, brown the chicken pieces first, both sides, set aside. Then brown the rest of the vegetables to make the sofrito, then add your liquids to it. Return the chicken to the liquid for the last part of cooking.
Also add the rice, washed and thoroughly drained. Plan to cook everything together for 20-25 minutes. If the rice starts to dry out, add more liquid (water, broth, whatever you have). If the rice seems too soupy, cook uncovered during the last 10-15 minutes so some of the liquid steams off.

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Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

p.s. Kristen, you mentioned that the crisp skin doesn't seem to survive the braising process. Well it can't, completely, as it's being steamed with liquids around it. If you are intent on that (but at the risk of over-cooking the chicken), just as the rice finishes, you could pluck out the chicken pieces, put them on a broiler pan and watch the like a halk. Then add back to the meal. But I think you will dry out the chicken. I find that with Arroz con Pollo and its wonderful seasoning by the time people have plucked the chicken meat off the bones and are devouring it with the rice and vegetables, a few degrees more of browning for the chicken would not matter.

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Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

typo: make that "hawk," not "halk"

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Kristen W.

Kristen W. is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

Have followed those steps but it hasn't occur to me to take the lid off the pot (the problem I have encountered is usually mushy rice), so that could help, thanks. Was tryiing to follow the dictate of not lifting the lid while the rice is cooking, but I guess I was being too dogmatic about it!

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Kristen W.

Kristen W. is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

Pegeen, you have a point re: the skin. I have a mild obsession with crispy chicken skin, so I like to try to go for it! Personal preference, but as I said, I see your point.

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Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

Sounds you want a roasted chicken taste and texture to serve over your chicken-flavored rice. Perhaps you could save some chicken drippings/broth from an earlier meal, make the rice with it, separately roast new raw chicken pieces then serve cooked rice & roasted chicken at table, even if they never met in the pot.

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Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

Kristen, I would love to know how you decide to handle this and also your favorite Arroz con Pollo recipe. It's a favorite dish of mine. Thanks.

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amysarah

amysarah is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

Kristen, I've done it many times - searing then braising the chicken with the rice, etc., then before serving (while the rice rests covered a few minutes) removed the cooked thighs and given them a quick, closely watched broil to crisp the skin a little, laying them back atop the rice to serve. I think breasts would be more likely to dry out that way, but I haven't had that problem with thighs. Not a roast level of crisp, just not braised rubbery skin. For me, a slightly crispy skin is more appealing too.

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Kristen W.

Kristen W. is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

Well, I should mention that this question has arisen because I made the dish last night, and wound up with perfectly cooked moist chicken thighs, nicely crisp skin from the broiler, and beautifully flavored rice that was disappointingly overcooked and mushy. I love this dish too, and would like to nail it so that I can reliably get all of the elements right. I don't really want a dry roasted chicken thigh with chicken flavored rice - although there's nothing wrong with that. I want exactly what I made, but with the rice cooked properly. I have done other rice dishes where the rice wound up undercooked and if I recall correctly, when I added liquid near the end of cooking I wound up with some rice that then got overcooked and some rice that was still under cooked, so after that I concluded that it was much better to get the proportions right in the beginning! I also remember that I did not give the rice a stir after adding extra liquid near the end of cooking, because I have heard that you shouldn't disturb the rice until it's done, but perhaps that would've distributed the liquid better so the cooking would've been more even. In this case, since the problem has typically been mushy rice, I am happy to try lifting the lid to see if that works better. Also, part of what makes the ratios difficult to gauge is that I like to cook a salsa of tomatoes, onions, and in last night's case, red pepper way down and then add it to the rice for extra deep flavor. I have the perfect liquid to rice proportion down for the rice I buy, but the salsa isn't purely liquid so it's hard to know how much stock to add exactly. Perhaps I should expect that there will be a certain amount of trial and error in the process if I do it this way.

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Kristen W.

Kristen W. is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

Perhaps I should also mention that I have a rick Bayless recipe for tomato rice which uses this technique of cooking the rice in part salsa, parts stock, but his ratios haven't worked for me either, so I can't get guidance on this particular issue there.