Saturday, January 17, 2015

Arroz con Pollo Anyone?

Along with Julia Child's Beouf Bourginon this is one of the greatest dishes we've ever made. While we follow Julia's Beouf recipe religiously, we've introduced a few variations to this classic Spanish dish to both make it a bit more authentic and flavourful.  Remarkably, the subtle aroma of the basmati rice not only survives but combines with the saffron and paprika into a delightful whole.

1 whole chicken (approximately 6 lbs)
into serving sized parts.  Season with:
Heat in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat:
4 tablespoons of olive oil
Brown the chicken on all sides in batches, then remove to a bowl.  Pour off all but:
4 tablespoons of fat 
from the pan.  Reduce the heat to medium and add:
2 large onions, chopped
6 ounces of sliced Serrano ham (or prosciutto) cut into small squares
Sautee until tender but not brown (approximately 5 minutes) and add
3 cups basmati rice
Stir until the grains are coated with fat.  Add:
3 cloves of minced garlic
2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
2 teaspoons of Spanish paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoons of ground pepper
Cook for one more minute.  Add:
5 cups of chicken stock or broth
3/4 teaspoon of oregano
3/8 teaspoon of saffron threads
Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil, scraping the bottom of the dutch oven to remove any brown bits.  Return the chicken and any juices to the pot.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer covered for 30 minutes.  Check to see if the rice is ready.  If it is not, give it 5 more minutes. When the rice just about right, stir in:
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1/2 cup of roasted red peppers cut into strips
1/2 cup of triple rinsed whole green olives stuffed with pimentos
Cook five minutes more and remove from the heat.  Do not be concerned if all of the liquid has not been absorbed.  Let stand covered for 15 minutes and the remainder of the liquid will be absorbed. Share and enjoy!

For the stock we recommend using extra giblets and necks as it's much more strongly flavoured than what you can buy off the shelf.  This balances the potent effects of the saffron and paprika.  

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