Friday, October 25, 2013

Recipe - Arroz con Pollo (Poached)

I'd like to preface this "recipe" by pointing out two things. Firstly, it's not really a recipe. It's late, on a Friday night and I'm hungry. I looked around the house to see what I had available to cook, and this is what I did with the ingredients I had to work with. Never watch #MasterChef when you're hungry. Secondly, I usually cook with mostly fresh ingredients. Again, I worked with what I had, and so I had to cheat in some places. I've never made #ArrozConPollo poached, but it sounds really good in my head, and I'm rarely wrong when I experiment with new ideas. This is super easy, and, if your kitchen is clean, super quick. My kitchen was not so it took a bit longer.

In a medium saucepan bring 4 cups of water to simmer. Add half of a chopped onion, and to your taste preferences, some green and red peppers, some salt and some pepper. If I had fresh garlic, I'd add that too. Since I did not I used dry minced garlic. Also add 1 large chicken breast, cut into slightly larger than bite sized pieces. You're going to add all of this to your rice, so you need only cook the chicken and vegetables to about 65% done.

As soon put your chicken and vegetables into the simmer you need to start your rice. For two people, I'm cooking one cup of rice, with two cups of water, in a pot that can accommodate everything. Remember you're going to add your chicken and veggies to your rice, so make sure the pot is big enough. Stir everything regularly.

When your rice is about halfway done, you're going to need to add your #PuertoRican cooking base. I use to types of #Goya brand, typically. #Sofrito is tomato base, and #Recaito is a cilantro base. You can find Goya at any grocery store. Add them in whatever ratio you like best, but 2:1 Sofrito:Recaito is the best. My wife hates cilantro, so I usually go with three or even four to 1.

At about this time your chicken and veggies should be ready to add. Your going to get most of your flavoring now. Add all of the veggies, all of the chicken, and some of the water to the rice. You'll have to use your judgement on how much water. Remember, the water has some flavor already in it, and you'll need some to help completely cook your meal. If you use too much, you could drown the meal, and kill a lot of the flavor.

As soon as all of the food is in one pot, cover it and put it on the lowest flame possible. The lower flame will let all of the flavor soak into the chicken and rice, and keep the water from boiling. If the water boils, everything will dry out and you'll end up scraping burnt rice out of the bottom of your pot. So make sure you stir as often as possible, and keep adding water as necessary.

When everything is done, your rice should be clumpy and moist, not soupy. Your chicken should juicy and flavorful, not dry. Your veggies, especially fresh onions and garlic, should be about to melt.There should be almost no water left in the pot. It's a really delicate balance, so pay extra close attention during the final stages of preparation.

Additional Tips: If at any point you think it's getting too soupy, uncover the pot. The excess moisture will leave the pot as steam and get it to a better consistency. Conversely, if at any point it seems too dry, or some of your chicken and veggie simmer hits a straight boil, cover it immediately and turn down your flame. And never forget #Ramsey Rule 1: Taste everything, all the time. Even raw meat, if you're not sure about the seasoning. No one ever died from a pinhead-sized-bite of raw meat. If someone tells otherwise, they're lying.

Now, you're done. Go eat some Arroz con Pollo, like a good wannabe #PuertoRican.

1 comment:

  1. I like how you kicked that up a notch with the sofrito/recaito . BAM!!!