ARROZ CON POLLO (Cuban, for four)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Rice, rice mains, arroz con pollo (Cuban) 3

For the chicken:
3 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

¾ teaspoon black pepper

one 3-1/2 to 4 pound chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

For the rice:
1 pound onions, chopped (2-1/2 cups)

2 green bell peppers, chopped

3 large garlic cloves, minced

¼ teaspoon crumbled saffron threads

¼ cup dry white wine

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons salt

1 Turkish bay leaf or ½ California bay leaf

one 14 to 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, including juice

1-1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth

1-1/2 cups water

2 cups long grain white rice (3/4 pound)

1 cup frozen baby peas, not thawed

½ cup small or medium pimiento-stuffed green olives, rinsed

¼ cup drained, chopped, bottled pimientos, rinsed

a wide 6 to 7 quart heavy pot, about 12 inches in diameter and 4 inches deep



1.Prepare chicken: Puree garlic, orange juice, lime juice, salt and pepper in a blender until smooth. Put chicken pieces in a large bowl and pour puree over them, turning to coat. Marinate chicken, covered and chilled, turning occasionally, 1 hour.

2. Transfer chicken, letting excess marinade drip back into bowl, to paper towels, then pat dry. Reserve marinade.

3. Heat oil and butter in a 6 to 7 quart pot over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then brown chicken in 2 or 3 batches, without crowding, turning occasionally, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer chicken as browned at a plate, reserving fat in pan.

4. Prepare rice and bake arroz con pollo: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350*.

5. Saute onions, bell peppers and garlic in fat in pot over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally and scraping brown bits from chicken, until vegetables are softened, 6 to 8 minutes.

6. While vegetables cook, heat saffron in a dry small skillet, shaking skillet, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine and bring to a simmer, then remove from heat.

7. Add cumin and salt to vegetables and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in saffron mixture, bay leaf, tomatoes (including juice), broth, water and reserved marinade and bring to a boil.

8. Add all chicken except breast pieces, skin sides up, and gently simmer, covered, over low heat 10 minutes. Stir in rice, then add breast pieces, skin sides up, and arrange chicken in 1 layer. Return to a simmer.

9. Cover pot tightly, then transfer to oven and bake until rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

10. Scatter peas, olives and pimientos over rice and chicken (do not stir) and let stand, pot covered with a kitchen towel, until peas are heated through and any remaining liquid is absorbed by rice, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf.


from Gourmet Magazine, September, 2003

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