Hispanic food is a cuisine that is so historically varied, so regionally specialized that dishes with the same name can mean wildly different things. That’s no surprise, really; not when you realize that Hispanic cultures, as Pew Hispanic writes, have roots in 20 different Latin American countries and, of course, Spain.
As you might imagine, the food these cultures hold dear have many similarities. Ceviche, for instance, is the term used for raw seafood cured in a citrus juice. However, the ceviche recipe you might encounter when in Mexico, for example, is likely to be markedly different from what you’ll find in Colombia. While both might be well loved recetas de camarones, the amount of heat, acid, and even camarones is likely to be different.
The same concept holds true in the dish we’re going to have a go at making today; arroz con pollo. Puerto Rico, Colombia, Mexico, and other Hispanic cultures make their own version of this dish. Today, we’re going to focus on a version of arroz con pollo that is decidedly Mexican in origin, although it has been updated somewhat.
Let’s get started.
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 3/4 cup tomato sauce
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin, dried
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 yellow onion, small, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 1/2 cups whole grain brown rice
- 4 pounds chicken thighs
How to Put It All Together:
The key to making this dish work is going to be the slow building of layers, one after another. This way, we’ll get tender chicken, perfectly cooked rice, and great flavor.
- Take the dry ingredients, the garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt, and combine them in a small bowl.
- Start your olive oil heating over medium-high heat in your favorite deep skillet. Next, pat dry the chicken thighs, Once you’ve wicked away the excess moisture, liberally apply the dry rub mixture to the meat, making sure every side is well seasoned. Add the thighs to the heated oil, turning to give all sides a healthy brown color.
- Add the onion, cloves of garlic, and bell peppers to the skillet. Once the peppers have taken on some color and the onions start to turn translucent, add the tomato sauce and chicken stock to the pan, stirring well to incorporate all the flavors.
- After the contents of the pan come to a rapid boil, add the whole grain rice to the pan, reducing the heat to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook for 45 minutes.
- At the end of the 45 minutes, check to make sure your thighs have cooked through and that the rice is tender. Let the dish cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
While this isn’t a completely traditional version of arroz con pollo, it is a healthy, tasty variation on the dish that everybody can love. We’ve used a bit more cayenne pepper and garlic in ours than most recipes call for. We love the extra kick! If those flavors or any others aren’t quite right for you, then change them for your own tastes. Make your own version of arroz con pollo that you and the whole family can enjoy. Continue reading here.