Arroz Con Pollo (Cuban rice with chicken)

Picture of leftovers from dinner last night, unfortunately all excess sauce has been absorbed. It was like runny lava last night, so much so that we had to soak in all the goodness with bread! (I knew I should’ve taken a picture then, but could not wait to devour my meal – oops!)

I’ve never had this dish before, but after watching it being featured in a show on the Food Network, I had to try it.

I mainly followed this recipe while comparing it to this one which seems to be slightly healthier (1 cup of olive oil less to be exact). Serves 4-6 adults.

This is my version:

• 2 Tbsp olive oil
• 1/2 Tbsp cumin
• 2 tsp ground oregano
• 1 Tbsp butter
• 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks, 1 chicken breast
• 1 yellow onion, diced small
• 1 green bell pepper, diced small
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 cup brown rice
• 6 oz can tomato paste
• 1-1/3 cups chicken stock
• 10 green olives
• 1/3 cup frozen peas
• 1 Tbsp hot sauce (I used Sriracha)
• salt and pepper to taste

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, cumin and oregano in a pan over medium heat until the aroma releases. Remove mixture from pan after 1-2 minutes and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Brown the chicken (~5-10 minutes skin side down and 1-2 minutes on other side).

Remove the chicken from the pan and put aside.
In the same pan, add bell pepper, onion, and garlic to pan and cook until softened (~5 minutes). Add rice and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Stir in stock, and tomato paste. Cook rice ~10-15 minutes, test rice for doneness (~85% done, rice will continue to cook in oven). Return chicken back to pan. Bring to a boil.

Cover pan, and place in oven for 20 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven. Keep it covered and let it sit for 10 minutes. Uncover it and fluff up the rice.

I served them with blanched green beans to add more vegetables in our meal. With all the spices, the plain green beans worked wonderfully. I substituted brown rice for white rice and the timing was off, so in this recipe I added an additional 10-15 minutes to cook the rice before putting it in the oven. It smelled fantastic and tasted even better, I’d definitely use this recipe again!

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