Arroz Con Pollo
2-3 cups uncooked rice (wash and drain your rice)
1 lb chicken parts – I prefer to use chicken legs only, you may want to marinade the chicken in Mojo Criollo overnight, if not available use garlic, oil and adobo seasoning.
1 small Spanish style Chorizo, sliced
1 small can tomatoes with jalapeños
2 tablespoons of whole Spanish Olives, with red pimento
1 teaspoon alcaparras (capers)
½ cup sofrito or about 4 cubes if you’ve used my previous recipe
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 – 2 envelopes of sazon a Puerto Rican seasoning. (this has the achiote which is what colors the rice the traditional yellow color)
½ cup vegetable oil
4-5 cups of chicken broth (I prefer low salt)
In a large caldero (this is an aluminum pot with top, the most traditional pot used in the Hispanic kitchen) brown the chicken parts in the oil, 5 minutes each side. Add the slices of chorizos as well as the sofrito cubes, sazon and black pepper.Add rice to the pot and stir. Add the Spanish olives and the capers; also add the can of tomatoes with jalapeños.
Add the chicken broth until the water is about 1 inch above the rice, stir once only.
Boil uncovered, over high heat, until liquid is absorbed.
Once the broth is absorbed gently stir from bottom to top, just a couple of turns only.
Cover and continue to cook over LOW heat for another 30 minutes or until the rice is tender.
|A typical caldero|
Hints . . .Resist the temptation to stir. Too much stirring causes the rice to become "amogollao" or sticky.
It is traditional to cook the chicken with bones and all. People will just pull the meat off the bones with their fork.
If you have cilantro and more pimento add some to the top of the pot once it is done, for a garnish.
Don't let your rice get smoked from cooking at too high temperature.
For great pegao* just cook a bit longer keeping an eye on it.
For a lot of pegao use a larger caldero (it will just be half empty).
*pegao: Any rice that sticks to the bottom of the pot is called "pegao" and is crispy and tasty and a favorite of all true Puerto Ricans. (it carries all the flavors of a dish) However, not everyone is skilled is making pegao - it is an art….And any honored guests of the table are offered the 'pegao' first!