I felt just terrible that Valerie and Ross had to go over to Simply Recipes to get a recipe for arroz con pollo. I'd never posted one myself because what I make is so similar to paella--almost exactly the same, as a matter of fact, sans seafood. Plus a little tomato paste.
It's a great dish to have in your weeknight arsenal, however, and I'm not exactly sure why I thought everyone could read my mind and figure that out on their own, somehow, by reading that paella post. I guess I just have a lot of faith in my readers.
For those of you without telekinetic powers (and I know there are a few of you), below you'll find one of those great pantry and freezer dishes that will save dinnertime right when it's on the brink of utter disaster.
Just to review: this is a cheater, non-fussy kind of recipe that uses (gasp!) sodium-laced BOUILLON, instead of real chicken stock. You know, the little cubes? I, in fact, use real, mostly homemade (if you consider stock purchased from Mekong Restaurant homemade) chicken stock for everything else.
I've made arroz con pollo both ways, and I always, always succumb to the lure of the trashy cube. It's also the saltiest method and the one most brimming with glutamates (the tomato paste is no slouch in that department either), and that probably explains my preference, given my addiction to umami. It's still a cheat, however, so if you want to take the high road, make sure you use strong, strong stock. This little dish needs to pop with flavor. As they say.
Arroz con Pollo (Chicken and Rice)*
2 TB. olive oil
1 red pepper, sliced
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 double-sized cubes (like Knorr) chicken bouillon
4 cups hot water
2 very large pinches saffron (lightly toasted in a small pan ahead of time)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 c. Bomba rice or Aborio rice
1 lb. real SPANISH chorizo, sliced into 1/2” rounds (NO SUBSTITUTIONS)
6-8 pieces of chicken, patted dry
Sauté the garlic, red pepper, and onion over medium heat in large, wide cast-iron skillet until soft and fragrant. Add the chicken and sauté until golden brown. Dissolve bouillon in hot water; stir in tomato paste; add to pan. Sprinkle with saffron and stir. Add rice and chorizo; bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmering with the pan covered.
Cook slowly until all of the liquid is gone (20 to 30 minutes: keep a close eye on it), and the rice is cooked. Serve immediately and thank the pantry gods you didn't have to go to the store.
*Not a dish for those on a diet. Your secret, however, is safe with me.