Well that’s what I decided to make tonight for dinner. I have a pack of chicken thighs to use and I am going for a version of arroz con pollo that I got from Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything.” It’s a very straightforward recipe, cooks all in one pot, and promises to taste delicious. Add a little vegetable or a salad, and you are all set for dinner tonight.
Arroz Con Pollo
3 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups white rice
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 chopped bell pepper (your choice of color)
1 tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
Pinch of ground allspice
1 bay leaf
Pinch of saffron threads (optional)
1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 8 pieces, or any combination of parts (I am using just thighs, since that is what I have)
1 cup frozen peas
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Warm the stock while you cook the onions. put the olive oil in a large skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and become translucent, 5 to 10 minutes.
Add the rice to the onions and stir until its coated with oil, a minute or two; add garlic, pepper, tomato, allspice, bay leaf and sprinkle with the saffron, if using, and stir again. Nestle the chicken pieces in the rice, add a little more salt and pepper, and pour in the warmed stock. Bring the mixture to a boil; adjust the heat so that the mixture bubbles gently but steadily. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, then add the peas. Cook for another 10 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and the chicken is cooked through; the chicken is done when an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 155-165 degrees. Garnish with parsley and serve.
Just a couple of quick notes on this recipe. I am using the saffron because I have some on hand. it’s not something most people have around, and it’s super expensive as far as spices go. If you just want the yellow coloring that saffron will give to the dish, you can use turmeric instead, which is much cheaper and will give you the color you want. Secondly, I am using homemade stock (I always do if I have it) but you could also just use water here if you don’t have any stock to use. The stock works with the chicken to give a really nice flavor to the dish that you might miss out on if you just use water. Finally, all the extras, like the garlic, pepper, tomato and the seasonings aren’t essential to the dish You can just make a stripped down version and use the onion, chicken and rice and it would be great. You can’t go wrong with this one either way.
That’s today’s meal. Tomorrow is Friday and we haven’t done a pizza Friday in a while, so I think we’ll do that and then I’ll go shopping this weekend for next week’s meals. I know Sean wants to do a breakfast for dinner this weekend, so we’ll be doing that one day, and probably a roasted chicken recipe as well since I could stand to make some more stock. The rest of the week I am not too sure about yet. Any suggestions? I’d be happy to try something out. Let me know! Until then, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!