In case you're trying to come up with an easy one pot meal while you're cleaning up after the last long weekend of summer, this chicken rice and veggie dish may be just the answer. Good thing I neglected to tell you about it a few weeks ago when we had it on our menu, because we went to a barbecue last night and forgot the camera at home so I can't share the party with you except to say the food was utterly sublime and the company stellar.
Now, about today's post from Food & Wine, I call this version of Arroz con Pollo "poor man's paella". With smoked ham, onion, garlic, assorted peppers and tomatoes, it is a fare imitation of paella but without the saffron and of course the seafood. It is a fairly good recipe and certainly good enough if your family isn't as addicted to strong flavors and spicy food like we are.
I couldn't help but think as we were chowing down how much more wonderful it would be with the addition of saffron, never mind chorizo or linguica instead of ham for added flavor but if memory and my notes serve me correctly, the addition of hot sauce and red pepper flakes made this one a little more satisfying for us.
The critical point to remember is to use dark meat chicken like thighs or drumsticks because they'll bring a lot more flavor to the party than breasts will and while the 1 teaspoon of salt in the recipe might seem like a lot, you'll need every bit of it. Oh and I used Knorr's powdered tomato bouillon instead of the tomato paste called for in the recipe. Popular with Mexican cooks, I discovered it when we lived in Tucson and find it adds an extra zing to dishes like this one.
By the way, should you be wondering what we brought to the potluck barbecue last night, here's the goods on our contributions.
Arroz con Pollo from JBug’s Kitchen Antics adapted from Food & Wine)
4 – 6 large chicken thighs
1 teaspoon salt & 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper (divided)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 ounces smoked ham, diced
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 – 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon Knorr tomato bouillon (or 1 tablespoon tomato paste)
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup long grain rice
Chopped parsley as garnish
Heat olive oil in a large heavy pan. Wash and dry chicken thighs. Season with a quarter teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Cook chicken until browned well on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside, pouring off most of excess fat. Add ham and onion to the pan and cook until onion starts to soften. Add red and green peppers and garlic and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often. Add tomatoes, bouillon, and chicken broth to the pan as well as remaining salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Stir in rice and return the chicken to the pot. Simmer, partially covered, over low heat for 25 minutes or until rice is cooked and chicken done. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
A year ago - Pork and Sweet Potato Chili
Two year's ago - Chicken Parmigiana
Three year's ago - Mac and Cheese