HALLIE EPHRON: 'Tis most definitely the winter of our discontent... snowstorm after snowstorm, followed ice and more snow. Time to make an all-in-one dish that makes the house smell great and lasts for days.
To that end I offer up a chicken with rice that's a winter staple in our house.
Spanish style arroz con pollo, humble cousin to Paella, is one of those satisfying comfort dishes. Savory chicken and rice with the pop of chorizo and hot smoked paprika, this is a recipe I make by "feel" so the amounts are approximate.
Sazón Goya (seasoning packets available in most grocery stores near the bouillion cubes) gives the dish its distinctive saffron-like taste and yellowish color. The fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime are contrasting grace notes. Notice that the shrimp gets cooked, then set aside and added to the finished dish.
Cook it up and serve portions reheated in the microwave for days after. It just gets better. Best accompaniment for me is fried ripe plantains (maduros). Allow them to ripen until the skins to turn black; then peel, slice, and sautee in butter until the pieces turn bright yellow and start to brown.
Ingredients2-3 pounds of skinless boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat and cut into 2" pieces
Approximately 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 T smoked (hot if you like) paprika
Oil (I use olive oil)
A large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
A large sweet red pepper, chopped
2 or so pounds of fresh tomatoes, chopped - I use skin, seeds, flesh (you can substitute a large can of whole plum tomatoes and its liquid, but adjust the amount of stock/water later in the recipe)
1/2 pound of chorizo, sliced 1/4" thick
12 (or more!) good sized raw peeled shrimp
1 packet of Sazón Goya (con culantro & achiote)
2 cups chicken stock
1.5 to 2 cups of uncooked rice (depending on which kind of rice, whatever you'd mix with about 2.5 cups of liquid to get the rice to absorb it all)
Water if more liquid is needed to just cover the rice
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
A bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 large skillet or sautee pan
1 dutch oven or large covered pot
1. Mix salt, pepper, and good paprika with a tablespoon or two of olive oil to make a paste; toss it with the chicken pieces to coat evenly; let them sit for about 15 minutes
2. Heat about 2+ T of oil in the skillet; brown chicken pieces in shifts and transfer to the larger pot
3. Add a bit more oil if needed and brown the chorizo slices in the same pan; add them to the larger pot
4. (Optional: Brown the shrimp in the same pan which should now have a brown crusty bottom (be careful to moderate the heat so the bottom of the pan doesn't burn) and cook through; set the shrimp aside in the fridge after cooking
5. Sautee onion in a bit more oil (if needed) in the same skillet, scraping up brown bits from the bottom of the pan and cook slowly until the onion is gold/transluscent,
6. Add the balsamic vinegar and loosen all the scrapings from the bottom of the pan; cook for another minute
7. Add garlic, red pepper, and tomatoes to the onion/vinegar mixture in the pan and cook down over low/medium heat for about 5 minutes
8. Add the Sazon Goya packet of seasoning to the veggies and mix
9. Dump all the veggies from the sautee pan into the larger pot (or dutch oven) on top of the chicken/chorizo
10. Spread the rice over the top of everything
11. Add chicken stock so that the rice is just covered; add water if more is needed
12. Cover the large pot and cook over low heat until the liquid is more or less absorbed but the rice is still moist... takes about 40 minutes to an hour but check earlier just in case
13. Turn heat down and tuck the shrimp into the rice and allow to warm through
14. Serve with mounds of fresh chopped cilantro and wedges of lime