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Chicken and Rice

09/30/07 | by JAdP | Categories: Food and Drink

I think that the most famous and tasty chicken and rice dish is the Cubano Arroz con Pollo. Look at any recipe for this dish, and you can see elements of Spanish Paella. As I seek to incorporate more of my Italian heritage into my life, I've come to prefer rice done risotto style. So, here's what I did to satisfy that chick and rice craving.

The first thing to remember is the pimiento is an heart-shaped, red pepper that is much meatier, sweeter than, and with no trace of the bitterness that a bell pepper has. You may need to substitute a bell pepper, or you may choose to use jarred pimiento or roasted red pepper. Your choice will have a major impact on the final flavour of the dish.

The second thing is that there are a wide variety of saffron out there. Again, choosing wisely will bring great flavour to the dish.

Start by soaking for an half hour or more, an half teaspoon of good saffron threads in a glass of warmed white wine, hopefully the wine that you'll be serving with the meal. At the same time, preheat your oven to 325°F, and preheat your simmering bricks.

Heat a large, heavy cast-iron skillet over a medium flame; once a drop of water goes skittering across the surface of the pan, add 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter. On a back burner, begin simmering 2 cups or so of your most wonderful homemade chicken stock.

As the pan is heating, slice a large white onion, mild green chili such as an Anaheim, and a pimiento. Put into the pan, and transfer to the simmering bricks or a very low flame. Cook the vegetables until translucent, neither brown nor caramelized. Remove the vegetables from the pan with a slotted spoon, retaining as much oil and butter in the pan as possible, and add more if needed, before returning the pan to medium high heat. Peel, core and dice one large Roma tomato.

Coat the pieces of one or two organic frying chickens, along with their livers, heart and gizzard, if you have them, with freshly ground black pepper, sweet paprika, and one-quarter teaspoon of oregano, and brown for about 20 minutes in the pan that held the veggies. Remove the chicken to a flat baking pan, and place in the oven, reducing the heat to 275°F.

As the chicken is sautéeing, to the chicken stock, add the onion and pepper mixture, the tomato, the saffron and wine, two bay leaves, 4 peeled & crushed garlic cloves, a grind or three of nutmeg, a teaspoon of sweet paprika, a teaspoon of toasted cumin seeds after crushing in a mortar and pestle, a few drops or more of your favorite pepper sauce, and a bottle of warm beer [I use Anchor Steam], and bring back to a simmer.

Add a cup [for four people] of arborio rice to the pan, still at medium heat, and sautée until the grains of rice become translucent with an opalescent core. Slowly add a ladle of the spiced chicken stock to the rice, stirring until all the liquid is absorbed, lower the heat or place the pan on the simmering bricks, then add another ladle of stock, and another, until your stock is used up.

Level the rice, arrange the chicken pieces over the rice in the pan, and place in the oven, at 275°F if you have a convection oven, or higher if you have a standard oven, and cook for another twenty minutes or until the chicken is at 185°F to a meat thermometer.

Readers of my blog know that my grandfather spoiled me from eating peas unless they are fresh from the pod, still on the vine. So I use snap peas: clean and pull the string, parboil just until the salted, boiling water comes back to boiling after adding the snap pea pods to the water, and then plunge them in an ice bath.

Steam white or green asparagus.

Take a whole pimiento or other red pepper, core it, and stuff it with the snap peas. Place the stuffed pimiento in the center of the rice still in the pan, and push it down into the rice; arrange the asparagus around the chicken, and cook for another five minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, and garnish with fresh, clean Italian Parsley or Cilantro leaves, and place the pan on the table.

Some nice white wine, beer or even better, Mojitos, a loaf of crusty peasant style bread, and you have the best chicken and rice around. Buon Gusto.

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1 comment


okay, so i haven’t really looked closely at the recipe, but it sounds wonderful and i’ll be back to get it!

10/11/07 @ 13:04
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I'm Joseph A. di Paolantonio and this blog has two main foci: my interest in food, and my interest in the future. This provides a look into my personal life, and is separate from my consulting work…though there will be overlap. I am an independent researcher, working as a strategic consultant and I'm an executive with over 20 years of commercial experience with a technical interest in the intersection of Internet of Things, with advanced data management and analysis methods. I view data science as a team activity, and I feel that the IoT must be viewed as a system. I am leveraging my past activities to understand the adoption and impact of the IoT; first, as a system engineer in aerospace, where I developed Bayesian risk assessment methods for systems within the Space Transportation System (including the Space Shuttle), Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer, Gravity Probe B, and many more, and second, as a enterprise data warehousing, business intelligence and analytics professional. Between my aerospace and IT careers, I indulged my hobby of cooking by starting a food company, Montara Magic, centered around my chocolate sauces. My education combined chemistry, mathematics and philosophy. I performed research into molten salt fuel cells in graduate school, and in photovoltaic materials for a short time in industry. The lure of bringing the human race into space was strong, and when I was offered the chance to combine my chemistry and mathematics skills to develop new risk assessment and system engineering methods for space launch and propulsion systems – I couldn't resist. I perform independent research and strategic consulting to bring value from the Internet of Things, Sensor Analytics Ecosystems and data science teams.I am a caregiver, a lover of science fiction and speculative fantasy, and my passion to learn has led me to a pilot's license, an assistant instructor in SCUBA, nordic and alpine skiing, sea kayaking, and reading everything I can, in as many topics as I can.

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