Arroz con Pollo - Mexican Rice and Chicken

By Mark Lawrence

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Arroz con Pollo is a traditional Mexican dish. It's normally served with salsa and steamed tortillas.

2-4 lbs chicken legs and/or thighs
4 tbl olive oil
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups rice
1 mediumonion, minced
1 mediumred pepper, chopped
1 mediumgreen pepper, chopped
3 mediumroma tomatoes, halved.
3 - 5 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup frozen peas
3/4 cup frozen corn
2 tbl tomato paste
1/4 tsp saffron
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika

  1. Note: Traditionally the chicken is cooked and served with the skin on. I remove the skin, as I consider it an unedible piece of almost pure fat.

  2. In a large skillet heat half of the oil over medium-high heat. Stir fry the rice until it's a light golden brown.

  3. Rub the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large skillet heat the other half of the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken thighs skin side down until golden brown, about 8 minutes per side. Turn thighs and cook a couple minute on the other side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

  4. Drain all but 2 tbl of the oil from the pan and return the pan to the heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, tomatoes and cook, stirring, until the onion begins to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until it begins to caramelize, 3 to 4 minutes.

  5. Add the chicken stock, rice, saffron, chili powder, paprika and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and nestle the chicken thighs skin side up in the rice. (Try not to submerge the skin, so it stays crisp as the rice cooks.) Cook, partially covered, until the rice has absorbed the liquid and the chicken is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes.