ARROZ CON POLLO
I used to make an Americanized version of arroz con pollo in college that called for hot Italian sausage and turmeric, to lend a neon yellow glow to this Latin-American classic. After experimenting with a few more authentic recipes, I think I’ve found a true winner. The essence of chicken, dried Spanish chorizo, and smoky-sweet roasted red bell peppers all find their way into the nutty brown rice, rendering a dish that is deceptively robust in flavor. This is an incredibly easy and hearty one-pot dish that reheats well if you plan on eating it as leftovers throughout the week.
Arroz Con Pollo Recipe
Adapted from Saveur Magazine Issue # 111
Make sure to take the time to seek out dried Spanish chorizo for this recipe and be careful while sautéing, as it can burn quickly. Also, be patient and take time to brown the chicken thighs well before removing them from the pan and pouring off the fat. The more you can render in this early stage of cooking, the less greasy your end result will be.
- 2 1⁄2 lbs. bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 3⁄4 lb. smoked, dried chorizo, cut into 1″-thick slices (I use Palacios brand)
- 2 tbsp. roughly chopped fresh oregano
- 1⁄2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1⁄2 cups long-grain brown rice, rinsed
- 1⁄2 cup white wine
- 3 roasted red peppers, peeled, seeded, and cut into thick strips
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup frozen peas
1. Heat oven to 400°. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a 4-quart dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the chicken, skin side down, and cook, without turning, until the skin is a deep golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. (Pour off and discard any accumulated fat and juices.) Add the chorizo and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chorizo to a plate, leaving the fat behind in the dutch oven.
2. Add oregano, red pepper, garlic, onion, and bay leaf to the dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is lightly browned and somewhat soft, about 8 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until surface is glossy, about 2 minutes. Add wine, bring to a boil while stirring often, and reduce by half, about 1 minute. Nestle chicken, chorizo, and peppers into rice mixture. Pour in broth and season liquid to taste with salt and pepper. Cover the dutch oven and bring to a boil over high heat. Transfer to the oven and bake until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
3. Remove the dish from oven, uncover, and gently stir in the peas with a fork. Let sit for 10 minutes, covered, to allow the flavors to meld.