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Author Notes: Arroz con pollo or rice with chicken is not only popular in Latin America but also in The United States. Even my husband grew up eating this dish. Some claim that it originated from Spain while others think its from Puerto Rico. When the Moors invaded Spain in the 8th century they influenced Spanish culture and cuisine. This is a communal dish and shared across the table (similar to Indian Biryani).
It varies from house to house and chef to chef. Regardless of its origins, its simply delicious! It is a perfect one-pot meal anytime. The use of herbs and spices, like saffron, enriches the dish. Color is very important in Moorish cuisine. The dish will be a reddish-yellow color so I recommend using a good brand of saffron. My recipe might not be the original, but I made it quite a few times, and we love it. —Dolphia Nandi-Arnstein
- 2 pounds bone-in chicken breast, cut into 3-inches pieces
- salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped
- 1 spanish onion, finely chopped
- 1 Roma tomato, finely chopped
- 1 dried whole red chile
- 1 bayleaf
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 cups cups valencia rice, washed and drained
- 3 cups cups chicken stock or water
- 1 teaspoon teaspoon saffron, lightly crushed
- 1/2 cup cup frozen peas
- 1 Lemon Juice
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley(For garnish)
- In a shallow plate, line the chicken pieces. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt and black pepper. Using hands, coat it well.
- In a non-stick soup pot, over medium heat, heat butter. Add chicken pieces and fry 5 to 6 minutes, or until it is golden brown. Turn the chicken pieces over and fry the other side for another 5 to 6 minutes or until it is golden brown. Set it aside in a plate.
- In the same pan without washing, over medium-low heat, heat olive oil. Add garlic pieces and saute for 1 to 2 minutes or until the aroma of garlic comes out. Add onion piece and cook by stirring often for 8 to 10 minutes, or until it becomes soft. Add tomato pieces and cook for 7 to 8 minutes or until it becomes soft.
- Add dried red chile, bayleaf and slice jalapeño. Cook it for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring well.
- Now add washed rice, water, salt, saffron, frozen peas and lemon juice. Increase the heat to high until it comes to a boil. Then lower the temperature to low. Now cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel and put the lid on top of it. Cook it for 25 to 28 minutes, or until all water is gone and rice is soft. Fluff it with a fork. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve hot.