So my hubby Normando or as I call him Normy or Norman, is from Puerto Rico. So the good wifey I am, I wanted to learn how to make the food of his homeland. So I chose Arroz con Pollo (Caribbean Rice with Chicken). Pretty easy dish! So this will be the 2nd time I have made it! I would like to master it and then learn to make more foods from his homeland…
Normy has explained to me when trying to find Puerto Rican recipes that I am to not look online! He told me what I need to know about Puerto Rican food is in this book!
So here we go…
I copied what was in the book…
So I went through the recipe and picked out what I needed so I could do my usual display of ingredients…
A- 2 1/2 pounds chicken pieces (I used thighs) (Normy says he has had it with drumsticks and thighs, but I did just thighs because that’s what I like, dark meat)
B- 2 peppercorns (whole black pepper) I just used fresh ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, peeled, and then I minced them
1 teaspoon dried oregano,
4 1/2 teaspoons salt,
2 teaspoons olive oil,
1 teaspoon vinegar or fresh lime juice. (I used balsamic vinegar)
(Crush and mix in a mortar) (using a mortar is the best way to do this, but I don’t have one so I just mixed it in a bowl)
C- 1 tablespoon lard or vegetable oil, 1 ounce salt pork, 2 ounces lean cured ham (for salt pork and ham- washed and diced)
D- 1 onion, peeled, 1 green pepper, seeded, 3 sweet chili peppers, seeded, 1 tomato, 6 cilantro (culantro) leaves (chopped)
E- 1/2 teaspoon salt, 10 olives stuffed with pimento, 1 tablespoon capers, 1/4 cup tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons fat or Achiote Coloring, 3 cups rice
F- 1 can (1 pound 1 ounce) green peas (I did not add)
G- 1 can (4 ounces) pimento (I did not add)
1- Wash chicken and divide each chicken piece in two. Dry and rub with seasoning included in B. Set in refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
(side note – I didn’t let it marinate, I just rub it on the chicken and then just started cooking it, I forget this step when I make this dish and I need to plan ahead and let it marinate overnight, so plan ahead and I HIGHLY recommend letting the chicken marinate)
2-In a caldero
or heavy kettle, heat fat (I used vegetable oil)
brown rapidly salt pork
Reduce heat to moderate, add chicken pieces, and cook for 5 minutes.
3- Reduce heat to low, add ingredients included in D,
onion, green pepper, 3 sweet chili peppers, 1 tomato, 6 cilantro leaves (chopped)
and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4- Meanwhile, drain liquid from can peas into measuring cup and add enough water to measure 2 1/2 cups, if regular rice is used, or 3 1/2 cups, if long grain rice is used. Reserve peas. Heat liquid and reserve. – For this step I skipped the peas – I just added the water
5- Add to the kettle ingredients included in E and mix over moderate heat for 2 minutes.
1/2 teaspoon salt,
10 olives stuffed with pimento, (I LOVE green olives so I added more than the recipe called for)
1 tablespoon capers,
1/4 cup tomato sauce,
2 tablespoons fat or Achiote Coloring, (I used two of these packets, you can get them at king soopers, wal mart or spanish/latin grocery store)
3 cups rice
6- Add reserved hot liquid to kettle, mix well, and cook, uncovered, over moderate heat, until rice is dry.
7- With a fork, turn rice from bottom to top.
8- Cover kettle and cook over low heat for 40 minutes. Halfway during this cooking period, turn Rice over again.
9- Add peas, turn rice once more, cover, and cook for 15 minutes over low heat. (again I skipped this part and did not add the peas)
10- Spoon rice into a serving platter.
11- Heat pimento in their juice, drain, and garnish the rice. Serve at once. (I skipped the pimento part as well, I was going to add them, but there was already pimento in the olives, so I felt that was enough).