Olga's Panamanian chicken and rice

June 18, 2017
1 Ratings
Photo by Starmade
  • Serves 2-4 people (depending on appetite; quantities of rice can be varied too))
Author Notes

Olga was a fellow student of my daughter in a TESOL class she took before leaving to teach English in China. Somewhere near the end of the course they had a potluck and exchanged recipes. Julian later made Olga's chicken and rice recipe for us and it was delicious and mysteriously more than the sum of its parts. It uses mostly storecupboard ingredients and is very easy and quick to make if you have leftover rice. The original just called for "spanish spices"; I developed what follows after a little experimentation. —Starmade

What You'll Need
  • chicken and marinade
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon crumbled achiote
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (vary to suit taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 pound chicken breast, cut up in bite size pieces
  • the rest of the ingredients
  • 1 splash olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium sized mild chili pepper (poblano or anaheim)
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup pimiento from a jar
  • 1/4 cup sliced green olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1.5 cups cooked rice (can use 3/4 cup uncooked)
  • 1/4 cup water or stock (use 1.25 cups if using uncooked rice)
  • 1/2 cup green peas (frozen are fine)
  • 1 handful cilantro
  1. Mix marinade ingredients and put in cut up chicken to marinate for half an hour or so. Meanwhile grate the carrot, and chop the pepper, onion, garlic and olive. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and add bay leaf and onion. Fry onion gently till it softens. Add grated carrot and mild hot pepper and saute till softened. Add garlic, stir quickly, and turn up the heat.
  2. Push veg aside to make a space in the pan. Add another tbsp. of oil, and when it is hot, lift the chicken out of the marinade (you can use a slotted spoon or your hand) and put it in the pan and allow to sit until it is seared. When it gets a nice sear on one side, stir it around and into the vegetables and allow to cook through.
  3. Then stir in any remaining marinade and tomato paste. When it is sizzling nicely, add cooked rice and ¼ c broth or water and stir to break up rice. (If using uncooked rice, stir it in to fry a bit and add the larger amount of water, and allow to cook till done).
  4. Stir in green olives, capers, and pimiento. When rice is warmed through and flavors have melded, add green peas, cover and turn off heat. Let sit in covered pan for five minutes or so till peas are lightly cooked (but still green). Add cilantro before serving.

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