Arroz con Pollo (take 2)

This past weekend was full of family and fun!

My baby brother graduated from college, making me officially old. At least my little sister is still under 14 years old. She will keep me “hip with the kids”!

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PS – Check out my dad’s epic photo-bomb in the background of this picture!

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Then, I flew home to spend 24 hours with my husband, GF Guy. In honor of his visit home, I made a second attempt at creating his family’s famous Arroz con Pollo. In sticking with my convictions to avoid processed foods, I skipped the usual yellow rice mix, and made the recipe completely from scratch. My first attempt, a few months ago, was just okay. The recipe was very complex, but, it was missing something.

I think this version is much closer to where it should be. Both GF Guy and I loved it and went back for seconds. And, the chicken to rice ratio was spot on perfect. In our house, that is probably the most import thing when making chicken and yellow rice. There are few things more annoying than ending up with a giant pot of leftover yellow rice and no more chicken.

This version will be a keeper in our house!

Arroz con Pollo

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs Organic, Chicken Thighs (bone-in, skin on)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, julienned
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • about 2 Tblsp White Wine
  • 1.5 tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • pinch Saffron threads
  • 1 tsp dried Oregano
  • 1 Tblsp Tomato Paste
  • 1.5 cups Paella Rice (short grain)
  • 3.5 cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
  • 1 cup frozen Green Peas
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 bay leaf and chicken thighs to the pot of boiling water and poach 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat, drain, and season chicken with salt and pepper. Set seasoned chicken aside.
  3. Place large pot back on the stove over medium high heat. Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of the pot and saute’ onions and bell pepper until soft. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Quickly, so as not to burn the garlic, deglaze the pan with white wine.
  5. Add the tomato paste and rice.
  6. Add the spices and bay leaf and stir to thoroughly coat all ingredients.
  7. Pour chicken stock into the pot.
  8. Nestle the seasoned chicken thighs in the pot. They should be mostly submerged in the cooking liquid.
  9. Top chicken with the peas, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Drizzle with a small amount of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  10. Reduce the heat to low, cover pot with a lid, and cook 20-30 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and rice is fluffy.
  11. Adjust seasonings and serve.
  12. Serve with fresh Cilantro, chopped tomato, baby spinach, and sliced avocado, if desired.
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Arroz con Pollo (Take One)

Almost 5 years ago, I married a Cuban….

…and by marrying a Cuban, I mean I married his family.

They are loud. They are boisterous. They are all up in each others business. AND…. I LOVE THEM!

Every Sunday, the entire family (aunts, uncles, cousins, 2nd cousins, random neighbors) gathers for lunch. The fare consists of Picadillo, Arroz con Pollo, Plantains, Black Beans….. you get the picture.

These are just a few of us.

I had never eaten these foods until I met GF Guy. Now, I am addicted!

Through the years, the traditional recipe for Arroz con Pollo has morphed into an Americanized version using the Vigo Yellow Rice mix. Lucky for me, the mix is gluten-free. Unlucky for me, it is also crazy high in sodium and other not so “natural” ingredients. I decided to take matters into my own hands and attempt my own version from scratch.

I did run into one snaffoo… my version isn’t yellow. I could add Turmeric, but am totally open to suggestions. Does anyone out there have and tips for me?

Either way, this is a delicious version of Arroz con Pollo that will definitely be repeated in our household! I tested it on two Gluten-Eaters and both loved it. Grandma would be so proud!

Arroz con Pollo

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Ingredients:

Chicken Marinade-

  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp dried Oregano
  • 1/2 cup fresh Cilantro
  • 1/3 cup Santa Fe Smoked Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Herbamare
  • 1/2 Black Pepper

“Arroz”-

  • 6 Bone-in Chicken Thighs
  • 1/2 tsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 large Sweet Onion, diced
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Sweet Paprika
  • 1 tsp regular Paprika
  • 1 tsp Herbamare
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/2 of the “reserved” Marinade
  • 1 lb fresh Tomatoes, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cups Long Grain White Rice (yes, I used white rice… and no, the world is not going to end) 😉
  • 1 1/2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
  • 1 1/2 cups dry White Wine, like Pinot Grigio
  • 2 cups frozen Green Peas
  • Avocado, for garnish – optional
  • Baby Spinach, for garnish – optional

Directions:

  1. To prepare the marinade, place the marinade ingredients in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
  2. Remove and discard the chicken skin.
  3. Rub 1/2 of the marinade all over the chicken, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  4. The remaining marinade will be used later in the recipe.
  5. After chicken has marinated for the desired amount of time, heat a large pot over medium-high heat.
  6. Melt the coconut oil in the pot before adding the onions and peppers. Cook for 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.
  7. Add the herbs, spices, and the bay leaf and cook 1 minutes, until fragrant.
  8. Now it is time to use that extra marinade. Add the marinade to the pot and cook about 1 minute, or until fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
  9. Once the garlic is fragrant, quickly add the marinated chicken thighs and chopped tomatoes. Cook 7-10 minutes over medium heat, stirring often.
  10. Once chicken has cooked a bit, add the rice, chicken stock, wine, and peas, in that order. Try to make sure the chicken and rice are all submerged in the liquid.
  11. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 20-30 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is fluffy.
  12. Serve on a bed of baby spinach garnished with chopped tomato and avocado. (optional, but highly recommended!)

This post is linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays , Allergy-Free Wednesdays, and Friday Foodie Fix.