Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Arroz con Pollo

I made this for supper because I had chicken thighs. This is another America's Test Kitchen recipe. Now, I'll warn you: I didn't make this recipe before, because it honestly didn't LOOK that good to me. It looks like a mess. But, the chicken thighs were beckoning...

In a large bowl, blend 6 large garlic cloves, crushed as small as possible
2 tsp salt
1 T dried oregano
1 T vinegar (I always use apple cider vinegar)
1 tsp pepper
Wash and trim your chicken thighs. (About 6 thighs should work nicely.) Like I noted in a previous post, kitchen scissors are GREAT for this job. Then put the thighs in the bowl and mush them around, coating them with the paste/marinade.
The thighs should sit in this marinade for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, dice up a medium sized onion and 1/2 a pepper (or more). The recipe called for green, but I only had red, so red it was. And you know what? It tasted great and looked pretty. Saute these two in a LARGE, oven-proof pot, in 1 T olive oil. Saute gently, and when they are turning soft and opaque, add the chicken thighs -- push the veggies to the edges so the thighs have contact with the pan bottom. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the meat under the skin just begins to turn opaque.
Flip the thighs over and allow to cook the same on the other side. It should be smelling yummy about now! Next, add about 2 cups of chicken broth (I used boiling water with chicken bouillon cubes instead) and 3 cups of rice. That seems like an awful lot to me. The recipe also calls for adding a generous supply of cilantro (which I love, but didn't have), green olives, and capers, at this point. I did none of that. More salt might be desirable at this point.
Stir, cover, and put in a 350 oven for 10 minutes. Remove, and stir well, so that the chicken and rice will cook evenly. If the rice is looking uncooked and there isn't much liquid left for it to absorb, add 1/4 cup hot water. I know it's an insane amount of rice, but honestly, it turns out about right.
Cook for 10 more minutes in the oven. When you remove it, take the chicken out of the pot, remove the skin, and remove the meat from the bones (using 2 spoons for this job is a nice trick). Put the meat back into the pot on top of the rice. The rice is ambrosial -- it smells SO good with all those yummy flavors.
Like I said, it's not the prettiest gal on the block, but the flavor was so good that afterward, I didn't brush my teeth. It's 8:00 and I STILL haven't brushed them, I'm embarrassed to say, because the aftertaste of both chicken and rice is so good. Oh, and they also squirted some lemon on it at the end, but I forgot all about that.

Yes, this is cooking in the real world, trying to bake chicken while your husband is swapping out ovens in the house. Haha! So, I cook with half a brain and forget this and that. But I don't think I'll be forgetting this recipe any time soon. And I have leftovers for a couple of lunches too.

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