Arroz con Pollo
5lbs of Bone-in Chicken Thighs
1 32oz box of Chicken Stock
1 box of Yellow Rice
3 Bay Leaves
2 medium size Vidalia Onions
1 28 oz can of Diced Tomatoes
4 Bell Peppers of various colors
1 packet of Sazon Goya
1 24oz bottle of Goya Mojo Marinade
1lb bag of Frozen Peas (optional)
Every culture has a version of this dish. When I grew up my family made Arroz Caldo which is slightly different from the Cuban recipe below.
I made this dish on Fox5 DC when the Washington Redskins played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It's always a fun challenge trying to create a dish that I can easily replicate in the TV Kitchen.
Whenever I make a dish that calls for chicken I prefer to use thighs. Thighs are dark meat and they have more fat on them. Remember fat equals flavor. Thighs also allows you to potentially overcook the meat without drying it out. I decided to debone the chicken thighs so it was easier to eat on TV but you do not need to do that at home for your guests. I also wanted to keep the chicken skin on to add another texture element to this dish as you eat it.
Please the chicken thighs into a ziplock bag and pour the Mojo marinade over them until they are completely covered. Allow the chicken to marinate overnight if you have the time. If not try and do at least an hour.
Add 1 tsp of oil to a pan and set the heat to medium-high. Once the pan is hot add the chicken thighs to the pan skin side down. If the pan doesn't immediately sizzle once the chicken touches it is not hot enough. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and let them sit for 3 to 4 minutes.
While the chicken cooks dice the bell peppers and onions and set them aside.
Flip the chicken and let it cook skin side up for an additional 2 minutes and then remove it from the pan and set it aside. We are not cooking the chicken completely at this point.
Add the peppers and onions to the pan and scrape up the browned bits of chicken. Coat the peppers and onions in the fond and season with salt and pepper. Saute the peppers and onions for 10 minutes or until the peppers and onions have softened.
Add the yellow rice, chicken stock, 1 Sazon goya packet, bay leaves, and diced tomatoes to the pan. When you add the chicken stock use 1.5 cups of chicken stock for every cup of rice you want to make. Stir all of the ingredients until they are thoroughly combined.
* Chef Tip* - I always like to add a pinch of saffron when I make yellow rice. If you have some lying around the house go for it. A little bit goes a long way. If you don't have any it's ok. The dish will still taste amazing.
Set the heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Let the rice and vegetable mixture simmer for 15 minutes and then add the chicken thighs that were set aside earlier to the pan.
Set your oven broiler to high and then test the temperature of the chicken. We want the temperature to be right around 160. If it's close or above that mark remove the chicken and place it on an oven safe baking pan.
Cover the rice and vegetable mixture back up and let it cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed.
We used skin on chicken so we could add anothe texture profile to the dish. The chicken skin will take to long crisp up if they are wet so you need to pat them dry before you place the in the oven. It should take 4 to 5 minutes for the skin to crisp up. Once crisp remove them from the oven and let cool down.
* Chef Tip* - Another reason I use chicken thighs for this recipe is because it is more forgiving when it comes to overcooking. Breast meat is very lean and you could potentially dry out the chicken when you are trying to crisp up the skin.
Taste the rice and ensure it is cooked. If it is turn the heat off and top the rice with the cooked chicken.