Fall marks the beginning of many seasons, football season, the new seasons of Saturday Night Live, Dancing with the Stars and The Blacklist (YES!) and in my kitchen - one pot meal season!
One pot wonders are hearty, comforting dishes that satisfy our appetites while also giving us a bear hug from the inside out. They're also easier on the cleanup because, well, as you can probably tell from the name, everything happens in ONE pot! This mouthwatering recipe for Arroz con Pollo is an extremely worthy addition to the Fall one pot lineup, featuring succulent dark meat chicken, aromatic garlic, onion and bay leaf and flavorful piquillo peppers cooked together on a fragrant bed of saffron-infused short-grain rice.
Arroz con Pollo, aka Chicken and Rice, is a traditional dish of Spain and Latin America but has different incarnations in many countries around the world. There’s actually much debate as to where the dish originated, as well as which ingredients it should traditionally include. As I have found, these debates can get um, how should I say - passionate? Puerto Ricans, for instance, believe anatto and beer are essential to making Arroz con Pollo while in Spain, saffron is used to impart the dish's signature yellow color. Before anyone gets upset with me, however, please know, this gringa means no disrespect and while this recipe may not be 100% culturally correct - it is most definitely CRAZY DELICIOUS!
Many incarnations of this dish call for a traditional Spanish "sofrito," a mixture of garlic, tomatoes, onion, olive oil and paprika that is cooked down in advance and blended into a flavorful paste. This recipe for Arroz con Pollo doesn't call for a sofrito per se, yet still uses many of the same ingredients, including minced garlic, onion, bay leaf and roasted piquillo peppers instead of the tomatoes. Rather than cooking them in advance and blending them into a paste, these ingredients are added "on the fly" which streamlines the recipe while also adding tremendous flavor.
Since this recipe for Arroz con Pollo calls for a dry white wine, that's generally what I like to serve with it; preferably, the same wine used in the recipe. And since I love the old adage, "If if grows together, it goes together," a white Rioja, Godello, Albariño or other Spanish white wine would be fabulous.
If you have a hard time finding any of these options though, or want to use something you already have on hand, a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio would also be great. When cooking with wine, always use one whose flavor you enjoy because even though the alcohol cooks off, you'll still be left with its "essence."
When you pull this gorgeous Arroz con Pollo out of the oven, the intoxicating aromas of the chicken, bay leaf and saffron will literally make your mouth water! One thing I especially love about this dish, is that it is as beautiful as it is delicious. Once you scatter the peas and olives over the pan of cooked chicken and rice, the colors form the most beautiful mosaic.
I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do and please let me know if you have any favorite one pot meals in the Comments section below + Buen provecho!Print Recipe
“ARROZ CON POLLO | AKA SPANISH CHICKEN + RICE”
Author: Adapted from Martha Stewart
Prep time: 30 mins - Cook time: 1 hour
4 skin on, bone-in chicken thighs
4 skin on, bone-in chicken legs/drumsticks
1 teaspoon or .2g saffron threads
1/2 cup dry white wine, like Sauvignon Blanc or a White Rioja
1 medium yellow onion, minced (1 cup)
3 Tablespoons good olive oil
2 Tablespoons minced garlic (approx 5-6 cloves)
6 jarred, roasted red piquillo peppers, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 cups short-grain rice, such as Arborio or Bomba
2 dried bay leaves
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed slightly
1 cup small Spanish, pimento-stuffed olives
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place frozen peas in a small dish near the oven as it preheats. Combine saffron threads and wine in a small bowl.
) Pat chicken pieces dry and season them with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large, straight-sided ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces to the heated pan, skin side down, in a single layer and cook until golden brown, 5-6 minutes. Once skin side is golden, turn and brown other sides, about 2-3 additional minutes. Remove chicken pieces to a plate and set aside.
) Pour off all but 3 Tablespoons of fat from the skillet (you might not need to pour anything off though). Add onion, garlic and peppers and cook over medium-high heat until softened, approx. 3 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds more.
) Stir in rice and coat with the fat in the pan, about 30 seconds. Add wine and saffron mixture and cook until completely evaporated, about 30 seconds.
) Stir in bay leaves and broth and return chicken to the pan, skin side up. Bring liquid in pan to a full boil, cover and bake in the oven until liquid is absorbed, rice is tender and chicken is cooked through, about 25-30 minutes.
) Remove from oven and add peas and olives to the skillet, cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Remove bay leaves and serve with a glass of white wine!