Arroz con Pollo

I should be calling this Quick and Easy Arroz con Pollo or Chicken and Rice My Way or something to that effect because I totally dumped this together and called it dinner when the brown rice was finished cooking an hour later.

All through high school and a little after, I dated a Cuban.  His family gatherings were nightmares for me.  Being the only person in attendance who didn’t speak Spanish, and rebelliously refused to learn, on top of being a very shy teenage girl (my h.s. friends who knew me best would snicker at that one) made these get-togethers, of which there were many, something that I absolutely dreaded.  One thing I do favorably remember from one of these parties was the chicken and rice, and the boyfriend I’d rather forget telling me that the best part about it was picking off and nibbling the baked-on scraps from the edge of the empty pan before his grandmother could wash it.  Before long, all of his cousins had joined him in their favorite tradition.

I don’t miss the boyfriend, but sometimes, I really, really miss the aroma of a Cuban kitchen.  Mine smelled nothing like one when I made my Arroz con Pollo, but boy were we in the mood for some comfort food.  Well, the boys and I had nothing to complain about, they had take-out pizza the night before, the same evening I indulged in a small serving of prime rib, and a large serving of mashed potatoes and mac n’ cheese, followed by a piece of coconut cake and a few of my favorite mixed drinks celebrating the end of another tax season with my husband.  But we won’t don’t need to talk about that…

Ingredients:

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat, cubed

4 cloves of garlic

1 onion, diced

1 28 oz. can of organic, crushed tomatoes

4 cups chicken stock

1 tsp. chilli powder

1 1/4 c. green bell pepper, diced

2 T extra virgin olive oil

3 c. brown rice

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 T garlic powder

Black pepper, freshly ground

Salt to taste, optional

Method:

Heat oil in a heavy pot.  Saute garlic to translucent then add onions and peppers to sweat.

Toss in chicken pieces and cook through.

Sprinkle on spices and stir well.  Add tomatoes and stock.

Bring to a boil and stir in the rice.

Return to a boil then reduce to a low simmer and cover.  Cook for one hour, stirring every fifteen minutes or so.

You can bake it until it’s stuck to the sides of a pan giving people something to pluck off and eat if you want, but I just served it as is.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

I didn’t add any salt because the tomatoes contained a little.  It was just fine without it.

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