Wednesday, February 29, 2012

ARROZ CON POLLO (Chicken with Rice)

Ever since the Spanish artist Domingo Zapata taught me how to make paella last summer, I have been perfecting an Arroz con Pollo recipe based on the same techniques. This week, I finally reached perfection, and I can now share this delicious recipe with you. The result is much like the Meili Farm chorizo I used in it: a bit spicy but not mouth-burning, neither fatty nor dry. It was a crowd-pleaser. Just ask photographer Carola Lott, who helped devour the dish once she had taken this picture for you.



1 chicken, cut in serving parts (4 thighs, 4 legs, and 2 breast halves, each cut in half)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup flour

4 chorizo sausages

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bell peppers—one red and one yellow, both seeded and chopped
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with liquid
3 cups long-grain white rice
Saffron (Marona’s carries Vigo brand—one package is perfect)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
5 cups chicken broth, warm
1 cup pimento-stuffed green olives (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Rinse the chicken pieces and pat dry. Salt and pepper the chicken and then dredge (coat) them in flour. In a heavy, ovenproof casserole with lid, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Fry the chorizo over medium heat until it is crispy and renders its fat. Remove the chorizo with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Cut into slices. Place the chicken in the pan (in the chorizo fat), skin side down, and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

In a separate pot, heat the chicken broth.

Place a paella pan on medium-high heat. Make a “sofrito” by first adding the rest of the olive oil, and then the chopped onion, minced garlic, and bell peppers. Fry all of this for about 5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes with their liquid and continue to fry gently. Next add 3 cups of rice, stirring in well so that all of the rice is coated with the sofrito. Add a mixture of garlic, saffron, paprika, chopped fresh parsley and a pinch of salt. Add warm chicken stock to the mixture in the pan and bring the liquid to a boil. Season with coarse salt. Cover the pan with a lid, turn down the heat and simmer for 5–10 minutes.

Add the chicken and slices of chorizo (and olives, if using) to the dish, cover, and simmer for another 10 minutes. After checking that there is enough liquid (if it looks like it is getting dry, add more stock or water at this point), place the pan uncovered in the preheated oven, and allowed the rice to absorb all of the liquid and flavorings while the chicken cooks through, about 40–50 minutes.


I truly enjoyed this rich and colorful dish. To accompany it, I choose the Carbernet Franc from Millbrook Winery which I had tasted some time ago and was seduced by its fine texture, its bouquet of violets and red berries. Notes of pepper, spices and aromatic herbs perfectly accompany this flavorful dish

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