From Puerto Rico to Mexico, Cuba to the Andes, families make Arroz con Pollo or chicken with rice for their supper table. We make it at least once a week. My husband has his preferred technique (searing the chicken in a wok), I have mine (using the rendered chicken fat to fry the onions and rice.) My wise boys never comment on whose arroz con pollo is better. (Although mine wins hands down. Shh…)
Deeply caramelizing the onions makes a huge difference for the flavor quality of this dish. Like I said, the fat that renders from the chicken is excellent for producing crispy, sweet onions and toasts the rice like no other.
You need a small amount of vegetable oil to start your onions frying, but once you begin to brown your chicken (skin side down first, please) the fat will render and you will have enough to brown your rice. If you happen to have some extra available chicken fat around, perhaps congealed on the top of some chicken stock in the fridge, by all means, use that instead of the vegetable oil for even more chicken flavor.
I have to admit, if I have less than salad-worthy tomatoes, or a leftover bit of unused onion, all fridge remnants go into my arroz con pollo. Tomatoes and onions give the dish good flavor, but the freshness is not a vital component. Contrary to what the you might think, even professional food bloggers have to clean their fridge of less than perfect ingredients from time to time.
I usually leave the pan uncovered when browning the chicken, but you may prefer to cover the pan while browning to avoid a messy stove. This recipe makes an extra amount of rice, ‘cuz we like extra rice. If you would like less rice, simply reduce the amount of rice to 1 cup uncooked rice, and use 2 cups of water. No need to adjust the amount of tomatoes or garlic.
Grey Day at the Ranch Recently, the weather has been sloppy and cold, drizzling, freezing, and then drizzling again. I can’t recall such a miserable winter here at the ranch. But to be honest, I am never miserable, even in our worst weather. The colors around the ranch turn from iron oxide red to steely […]
Next on my list is a new diet and exercise routine. But first, we have to deal with the left overs. Turkey always seems like a great idea for the armies of people that show up for meals here at the ranch. Inexpensive and plentiful, roasting a turkey over the holidays seems like a natural […]
Roasted Potatoes for the Non-Cooks For my buddies that don’t cook all that often (and, you know who you are…) my message to you in this post is that the biggest trick to good cooking is…good shopping. And I am not talking about packaged products. When you find the right fresh produce, cooking from scratch […]