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Arroz con Pollo (comes with Crispy Skin).

There are few dishes in Latin culture more beloved than Arroz con Pollo, and almost every country has their own variation. The versatility of the dish makes it a perfect addition to everyone's home cookbook during the quarantine. You can always add your own spin to it. Here is mine. DISCLAIMER: This recipe calls for some traditional moves, and some not so traditional ones, but it gets the job done.


I only have one picture this time people; I was hungry, I'm sorry.


PRO TIP: In this recipe (truthfully, any recipe) the key is to prep ahead. Chop and season everything ahead of time, and it will make your life a lot easier. You can also cook the Rice while the chicken cooks and cut your time so you can get to that sweet, sweet Arroz con Pollo ASAP. 


P.S. PRO TIP: Save the tops, ends, seeds shells, and everything else from all vegetables for later. You can add them to a freezer-safe bag and continue adding until the bag is full. Be on the lookout for the post telling you what to do next. Is it the next one? Who knows? Don't throw stuff away. 


FOR SEASONING

2 cups Basmati Rice (You can use other varieties and follow the instructions on the package) 

2 cups Water 

Half a small Yellow Onion

3 cloves Garlic 

1/2 tbsp Kosher Salt 

1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (Optional) 

1 tbsp Vegetable Oil 

  1. Put a medium heavy bottom pan on medium-low heat and let it get to temperature before adding the oil. 

  2. Peel Onion and Garlic cloves, crush Garlic lightly on with the side of your knife. Crushing the Garlic helps release the flavor into the oil. 

  3. Add Rice and salt to the pan, turn on high and toss the Rice for 30 seconds before adding Water and Cider. 

  4. Continue to stir briefly and bring to a boil.

  5. Once the Water is a 1/4 of an inch above the Rice, cover the pan with a lid and turn heat to low. 

  6. Let cook for about 12 minutes. Turn the Rice occasionally through to make sure it is cooking evenly. 

  7. Taste the Rice, and taste it again. It's dope. 


FOR CHICKEN 

4 Chicken Thighs, or 2 Quarters, or 4-6 Drumsticks, live your life with your favorite parts, I prefer dark meat. 

1 tbsp Yellow Mustard 

1/2 tbsp Smoked Paprika (Optional, but come on)

2 Pinch Oregano (Optional) 

2 Cloves Garlic (crushed)

2 tsp Kosher Salt 

1/2 tsp Black Pepper

1 tbsp Vegetable Oil or Equal 


PRO TIP: Crush the Garlic with the side of your blade and drag it a bit on the board to turn it into a paste, this will make it easier to mix and prevent larger pieces from burning. Yellow Mustard adds a tangy flavor and helps get color on the chicken. 

  1. Before seasoning the chicken, take it out of the fridge for at least 15 minutes to let it get closer to room temperature. If we cook chicken that is frozen or cold in the middle, it can come out raw. 

  2. Add half of the seasoning to the bottom of your container. Place the chicken and add the rest. Adding seasoning to the bottom will help you mix everything into the chicken evenly. 

  3. Take a heavy bottom pan and turn the heat to medium and let the pan get to temperature BEFORE, adding oil (this prevents oil from burning before we add the chicken).  

  4. Once the oil warms up, add the chicken skin side down and let it cook for about 8-10 minutes on each side. Time depends on your burners, the pot, so keep an eye on it. 

  5. DO NOT WASH THE POT.

  6. Remove from pan and place on a plate, or cooling rack, skin side up to keep the skin crispy.


You've worked hard so far, but since I only have one picture, Here is my dog Dani @ewokianqueen

FOR SEASONING

2 medium Carrots 

2 stalks Celery

1 small Yellow Onion 

1 Red Bell Pepper

1 Green Bell Pepper 

2 cloves Garlic 

1 cup Sweet or Snap Peas, follow your nose 

1 tbsp Whole Cumin (Optional, but seriously)

1 tsp Kosher Salt

1/2 cup Chicken Broth 


PRO TIP: This takes a french mirepoix and sofrito together; it's damn good and a great way to flavor pretty much anything. Cut everything the same size so that it cooks with the same timing. We cook everything back in the same pan where the chicken cooked because there is a lot of flavors there, we want that back!

  1. In the same pan you made the chicken, turn the heat on high, add everything in this order around 1 minute apart.

  2. Add to pan in this order: Carrots, Onion & Celery, Green & Red Bell Pepper, Cumin & Garlic. 

  3. Stir everything until they get a bit of color and soften up, however, do not let the vegetables get mushy.

  4. Make sure that you scrape the pan to remove the delicious fronds at the bottom of the pan. 

  5. Add chicken broth and the rest of the ingredients and stir until hot. Return the chicken to the pot, skin side up, and cook for another two minutes.  

  6. Remove chicken back to the plate. 

  7. Add cooked Rice to the pot with vegetables and stir all the goodness together until awesome. 


Here is my bag of things trimmed, to show you I am not kidding. (It's mostly empty because I used mine a couple of weeks ago).


By Luis Hernandez @luishernandezdrinks

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