Arroz con pollo is one of the most classic Cuban dishes! It's a satisfying combination of chicken and rice cooked to perfection. This recipe is from the book 'The Cuban Table' by Ana Sofía Peláez!
In the 1950s, when poultry was more expensive than either fish or beef, Arroz con Pollo was the preferred dish for special occasions and Sunday family gatherings. It’s a one-pot meal that’s still perfect for feeding a crowd. Carmen Calzada shared her family’s recipe with me.
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium green bell pepper, stemmed, cored, seeded, and cut in rounds
3 lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups water
12 oz bottle of pilsner-style beer, divided
½ lb asparagus, rinsed and trimmed
1 medium yellow onion, grated
1 cup jarred pimientos, drained and sliced
1 cup petit pois or English peas, fresh or frozen
¼ cup tomato paste
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and mashed to a paste
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 cube chicken bouillon
¾ teaspoon freshly ground achiote seeds or Bijol seasoning
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
3½ cups Valencia or similar short-grain rice, rinsed
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
- Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in an ovenproof, 6-quart heavy pot or Dutch oven until hot but not smoking.
- Add the green pepper to the oil.
- Working in batches, brown the chicken on both sides, 2–3 minutes per side.
- Set aside the browned chicken and repeat with remaining pieces.
- Remove the green pepper and discard.
- To deglaze the pot, add the wine and bring to a simmer, scraping up the browned bits.
- Return the browned chicken to the pot.
- Add the remaining ingredients except for the rice, half the beer, and part of the pimientos to add at the end. Bring to a simmer.
- Stir in the rice and simmer over medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
- Remove the pot from direct heat, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and set in the preheated oven. Bake until the rice is tender but still moist, about 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and immediately pour in the remaining beer.
- Garnish with the reserved pimientos.
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