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Arroz con pollo

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Arroz con Pollo ("rice with chicken" in Spanish) is a traditional dish that is common throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, especially in Cuba, Colombia, Panama, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Honduras and the Dominican Republic. Common ingredients include rice, beer, stock, sofrito (a mix of vegetables and fresh herbs), chicken, and saffron or more authentic and commonly annatto.

Left: Arroz con pollo.

Considered to be a Puerto Rican unofficial national dish, "arroz con pollo" or "rice with chicken" is claimed to be native to Puerto Rico. The dish has roots in the motherland of Spain. Arroz con pollo dates back to the eighth century when the Moors occupied Spain and influenced the way they imported and exported goods, along with the way they ate. Many other ingredients the Spanish added were beef, pork (chorizo), rice, wheat, and olive oil.

Arroz con pollo recipe ingredients

The Sofrito

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Left: Ingredients for Puerto Rican Sofrito.

A great arroz con pollo begins with the sofrito, a blend of vegetables and herbs that is the base of most Puerto Rican stews and rice dishes. Here are the ingredients to sofrito:

  • One cup of white onion, chopped
  • One cup of green pepper, chopped
  • One half of a red pepper, chopped
  • Four garlic cloves
  • Quarter cup of cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Quarter cup recao leaves, chopped
 

Adobo Dry Spice Rub

A mixture of dry spices, including cumin, oregano, granulated onion, garlic powder, salt and black pepper.

Remaining Ingredients

  • Four chicken quarter legs and thighs
  • Quarter cup of olive oil infused with achiote (seeds of the annatto tree)
  • Quarter cup of canned tomato paste
  • Quarter cup of green pimiento stuffed Spanish olives
  • Quarter teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • Three bay leaves (dried)
  • Four cups of long grain white rice
  • Six cups of chicken stock
  • One 12oz beer (optional)

Recipe Cooking and Preparation Method

 

Marinate the chicken in a mixture of olive oil and two tablespoons of the adobo dry rub mixture. (For best results, let the chicken marinate for a few hours to a day before cooking.)

Chop up the ingredients for your sofrito in a small bowl.

Preheat a medium-sized casserole pot with the achiote infused olive oil. If you arenít able to find achiote, plain olive oil will do nicely. Brown the chicken until seared and caramelized and golden brown (about five minutes over medium heat).

Next add the sofrito and sautee for another ten minutes.

Add the tomato paste, Spanish olives, black pepper and bay leaves. Stir and cook for 20 minutes (covered), until chicken is fully cooked.

Stir in rice thoroughly, then add the chicken stock and beer and bring to a boil at medium high-heat until most of the water has evaporated.

Finally stir rice and chicken and reduce heat to a simmer. Let cook for another 20 minutes (covered) or until rice is softened.

 

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