We prepared this Americanized Cuban style chicken and rice dish . The original arroz con pollo is actually Spanish but is now done in many different countries using ingredients with the flavors of each country. Of course we added an extra bit of spice to the dish as we do with most of our recipes. Preparing this meal is for people who love to cook. It's well worth the time and effort when you are rewarded with the fabulous taste and appearance of the dish. —Tom and Anita Morgan
chicken thighs with skin
1 1/2 teaspoons
red wine vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
medium onion, chopped coarse
medium red Bell pepper, seeded and chopped coarse
large garlic cloves, skinned and sliced thin
medium tomato, chopped coarse
1 1/2 cups
Cuban or Mexican beer
small jar of sliced red pimientos, divided in half
Mix the oregano, cumin, white pepper and red wine vinegar in a medium bowl.
Add the chicken thighs, turning in the marinade to cover and let stand for 30 minutes while chicken warms to room temperature.
Heat the oil in a large diameter cast iron pot or equivalent (we used a #30 Le Creuset) to medium high heat. Brown the chicken on both sides for several minutes per side making sure to get all the marinade in the pot. When chicken is browned, reserve it to be added back later.
Turn the heat down to medium and add the onion and Bell pepper to the pot. Cook for three minutes until starting to get soft, then add the garlic and cook another minute then add the tomato and cook for one to two more minutes.
Add the chicken back to the pot and cook for a few more minutes.
Then add the liquids, tomato paste, salt and pepper and saffron (if you are using it). Bring pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer (on a simmer plate if you have one) and cook for thirty minutes with lid on.
While chicken and Sofrito are cooking, place the rice in a strainer and wash under cold water until the water runs clear, then allow the rice to dry.
At the end of the first thirty minutes raise the temperature a little and add the rice to the pot, mixing in well. Then reduce to a simmer again and cook for another thirty minutes with the lid on or until the rice has absorbed all of the excess liquid. If the mixture starts to run out of liquid, add a little more; if it seems too wet, uncover during last fifteen minutes.
A few minutes before the dish is done, stir in half of the peas and pimientos.
Spoon the arroz con pollo into a heated shallow bowl or deep dish plate and garnish with remaining raw peas and pimientos strips.