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Monday, April 23, 2012

A Latin American Favorite

Hi, dear friends.
Today, a latin american classic, arroz con pollo.  What can I say about this delightful dish?  That I grew up with it?  That it's my mom's favorite?  Somehow, writing about this has taken me back to when I was a very little girl in Cuba, maybe four years old.  My paternal grandmother, Tina, had a tremendous back yard and there she kept many chickens.  The chickens were free, running around everywhere and needless to say, every time she needed  a chicken.... let's just say, there was no need to go and buy one.  I remember she only fed them corn and these chickens laid delicious eggs, which were called huevos criollos.  
Both of my grandmothers were very hard working women.  My grandmother, Tina, lived in a farm when she was young; she cooked for all the men that worked the land.  My grandmother, Mama Rosa, also cooked for many on a daily basis, and my mom would deliver the food in her bicycle.  Now that I think about it, I take much after both my grandmothers and writing about this has made me teary eyed.  So I just took off my glasses, wiped my tears, and sent them my love.


                                                          Arroz Con Pollo    (Chicken & Rice)

Ingredients:                                                 Yield: 6 - 8 Servings

4 chicken breasts, boneless & skinless

1/3 cup olive oil

1 large onion, minced

1 large green bell pepper, minced

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 chicken bouillon

1/2 teaspoon cumin

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups white dry cooking wine

1 cup tomato sauce

3 cups short grain rice

6 cups water

1 teaspoon saffron or bijol yellow food coloring

2 red roasted peppers

1/4  cup parsley

7 ounces beer, not dark

1 cup green peas, cooked

Directions:

Note:  I make my arroz con pollo in a 16 cup capacity electric pressure cooker, but if you do not own one, it can be done in a large dutch oven pan.  I love my pressure cooker, is made by Cuisinart.

Rinse and pat dry chicken breasts; cut them into strips.  In pan, pour olive oil, sauté onion, bell pepper, and garlic until translucent.  Add chicken strips and mix well with sautéed ingredients.  Add bouillon, cumin, bay leaves, salt, black pepper, wine, and tomato sauce.  Cook under pressure for 20 minutes.  When pressure is gone and it's safe to open , stir cooked chicken and add, rice, water, food coloring, 1 roasted pepper cut in strips with its juice content,  and parsley. Mix well.  Close lid, cook under pressure for 20 minutes. Open when it's safe and add beer; stir well.
Use remaining roasted pepper and peas for garnishing.

Enjoy this arroz con pollo and enjoy life!












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