Tara asked me to make her a dish for last night. After much debating…(Her:Shushi?….Me: No….Her:Coq au vin?…Me: No….Her:Arroz con pollo?…Me: No (beat) Oh okay.) we decided on A spanish version of Chicken and Rice.
There’s two things that make this dish sing, so if you have one, and not the other, you’re not having true “Arroz con pollo”. Those two things are: 1) Chicken Fat 2)Pork Fat. Choose your Pork wisely, as it can easily overwhelm the dish. The initial recipe called for smoked ham, I replaced it with the tradition pork product of Spain…ahem…pancetta. Feel free to use chorizo, as that’s the route I’ll probably go next time.
This dish is a great weekday dish, as it’s simple, and requires only one pan to cook in (I used my iron skillet… that dish cooks everything!).
- 2 lbs of chicken parts (breasts, thighs, drumsticks, or any combination of)
- Salt and Pepper (to taste)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 green pepper, diced
- 3 ounces, pancetta, diced
- 1 cup medium or long grained white rice
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregeno
- 1/8 teaspoon dried saffron threads (loose)
- 1/2 cup fresh or unthawed frozen peas (no canned)
- 1/4 cups pimentos
- 1/3 cup chopped green olives; brined, not pickled
Rinse and pat dry your thawed chicken, and separate any connected pieces. Salt and pepper to your taste.
Heat a large skillet on medium high heat with olive oil. When oil shimmers, add chicken pieces, and brown on all sides (7-10 minutes). Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium low.
Put the onions, pepper and pancetta into the skillet. Cook, stirring occaisionally, until the onions are translucent, but not brown. Add the rice and coat rice grains thoroughly with oil and fat. Add the garlic, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir for one minute and then add the chicken stock, oregano and saffron.
Bring the stock to a boil over high heat, making sure that you scrap the browned bits of from the skillet. Place the chicken in the rice. Cover, and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes.
Uncover and stir peas, pimentos and olives. Re-cover the skillet, cooking until the rice is tender (approx 10 minutes). Plate and serve!