Friday, March 19, 2010

Recipe Of The Day: Spanish Style Chicken w/ Saffron Rice (Arroz Con Pollo)

Those who follow the site closely know that we have a certain fondness for chicken. Especially when it is accompanied by an incredibly flavored side dish such as Saffron Rice. A little known fact to some, saffron is one of the most expensive ingredients to use because of the ratio of what you get for what you pay. But have no fear, most stores carry saffron threads for a mere few dollars and that amount alone will be more than sufficient for the average cook for a year or more. The key to this recipe is not overcooking either the chicken or the rice but yet allowing everything the proper amount of time to come together when cooking.  This is a healthy dish overall that should feed about 4 people. Although it packs a little punch from the cayenne, I usually double up on the cayenne and also add some Sriracha sauce (I know its an asian styled hot sauce but its great on this dish.) For those of you who are like myself please do this dish the justice it deserves and enjoy it with a cold beer or a strong mixed drink.  
Spanish-Style Chicken with Saffron Rice (Arroz con Pollo)
1 (3 1/2- to 4-lb) Chicken, Cut Into 8 Serving Pieces
1 TBS Olive Oil
1 Large Onion, (Diced)
1 Large Red Bell Pepper, Cut Into ½’’ Strips
4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
2 tsp Smoked Paprika
2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 Cups Long-Grain White Rice
1 1/4 Cups Dry White Wine
1 (14-oz) Can Diced Tomatoes Including Juice
1 3/4 Cups Chicken Broth
3/4 Teaspoon Crumbled Saffron Threads
1 Bay Leaf
1 Cup Frozen Peas (not thawed)
1/2 Cup Pimiento-Stuffed Green Olives, Coarsely Chopped

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet (at least 2 inches deep) over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown chicken on all sides, about 12 minutes total. Transfer chicken with tongs to a plate.
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet and add onion, bell pepper, and salt to taste.
Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 7 minutes. 
Add garlic, paprika, cayenne and rice, then cook, stirring, 1 minute. 
Add wine and boil, uncovered, 2 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes with juice, chicken broth, saffron, and bay leaf. Nestle chicken in rice, adding any juices from plate.
Cook, covered, over low heat until chicken is cooked through, rice is tender, and most of liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in peas, olives, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover skillet and let stand 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf.

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