Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Arroz con Pollo: One-pot cooking at its best

This is the third outstanding recipe I’m writing about from Eating Well magazine in the last two weeks.
   First was Creamy Hungarian Mushroom Soup, then Crispy Baked Drumsticks with Honey-Mustard Sauce, and now Arroz con Pollo (click for the recipe) takes the stage.
   Arroz con Pollo is chicken cooked with rice. The recipe is one-pot cooking at its best, with the chicken and other ingredients being cooked in one cozy home together.
   The result is a family-friendly dish with juicy chicken and mild flavors.
   The only concern I had about the recipe, and it is minor, is the texture of the rice after cooking time. Instant brown rice is used to hasten the recipe’s cooking time to just 40 minutes.
   After other ingredients, including broth, are brought a boil, the rice is stirred in and the mixture is simmered for about eight minutes.
   The rice in the resulting dish was very slightly gummy, and so I would recommend a couple more minutes of cooking time after the rice is added.
   However, with Arroz con Pollo, the rice is dished into the mouth and swallowed without a lot of chewing, making the issue of slightly gummy rice much less critical than it would be in other recipes.
   Arroz con Pollo is easy to make.
   Bone-in chicken thighs or drumsticks, skin removed, are sprinkled with salt, browned in oil in a Dutch oven or heavy pot, and transferred to a plate.
   Onion, garlic, tomato sauce and broth are put in the pot and brought to a boil. The rice is stirred in, the chicken is returned to the pot and the dish is simmered. Frozen mixed vegetables that have been thawed are stirred in and cooked until heated through.
   Serve, nestling the lovely chicken among the rice on the plate.

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