Arroz Con Pollo

Thank you so much for your kind words in the last post. It means a lot to me and the whole family. Seriously.

We hit up the Portland Showcase of Wine and Cheese, an annual fundraiser for The Boys and Girls Club on Friday. All you can eat and drink cheese and wine for a good cause? Yes, please. They also have two huge prime rib stations, and a few more snack stations with a surprising number of veggie options, but extra carb options. Otherwise, you’re Drunktown USA by the second table. There are hundreds of wine and cheese vendors. It’s overwhelming and awesome. It’s definitely one of the coolest events of the year. It’s our third or fourth year going; I can’t remember which. I will continue to go as long as I’m in town.

I left the land of the sweet for a bit [at least cooking at home...I did have a chocolate hazelnut milkshake from Burgerville the other day]. I still eat three normal meals a day that don’t involve brownies, I promise. I still get crazy cravings for the comforting of comfort food. Chicken and rice are so totally those things in all forms. There is actually a Belizean food cart a block away from my office that does some really good comforting stewed chicken and coconut rice, a pile of arugula, and some spicy habanero salsas like grapefruit pulp. This arroz con pollo kind of reminds me of that, only less spicy.

This made the house smell ridiculously good while it cooked. You kind of have to babysit it to keep it refreshed with broth, kind of like a risotto. I did not do as good of a job as I should have. I ended up with a few burned bits of rice. Nothing serious. Nothing to stop me from devouring. My Dutch oven only held four large thighs. There was no way I was getting another two legs in there per the original recipe. The meat was falling off the bone, though, which is the way meat should be. I don’t want to work too hard when I’m chowing down on comfort, y’know? Sometimes my inner carnivore is lazy.

Inspiration: A Cozy Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 4 large bone-in chicken thighs with skin on
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 roma tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 14oz valencia or jasmine rice
  • 4 cups chicken stock

Preparation

Heat a Dutch oven on medium-high heat with the two tablespoons of olive oil. Add the chicken, skin side down. Brown for 5 minute before flipping. Cook for another 3-4 minutes and remove the chicken to another plate.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, coating them in the chicken grease. Let the onion sauté for a good 7 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic on top of the onion, don’t mix, and let it get good and fragrant for another minute or two. Add the tomatoes and red pepper. Stirring well, scraping up all of the lovely browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the spices and a pinch of salt. Stir.

Pour the rice in, really mixing it into the pot. Once it’s all covered in the tomato mixture, nestle the chicken into the top of the rice, and pour 2 of the cups of broth in or until it reaches the top of the rice. Bring everything to a boil before reducing the heat to a simmer and covering. Add a half cup of broth when it appears low. I checked it every 15 minutes or so. When the rice if fully cooked, you’ll be done [about 45 minutes].

So, so good.