Kerry’s Cuban Chicken
For dinner last Friday, the main course was Chicken over Rice with a side dish of black beans and onion topped with shredded mozarella – it was so creamy, I just had to have 2nds! In spanish, the meal is called Arroz Con Pollo. Gillian brought a 2009 Alamos Malcbec from Argentina. Good strong flavour.
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 broiler-fryer chicken (2 ½-3 pounds), cut into serving pieces, or bone-in/skin-on pieces of breast and thigh (if you aren’t into cutting up a whole chicken … more expensive route though). Rinse and pat dry
- 1/2 cup of flour for dredging
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Hungarian Paprika (not the fancy spanish kind that goes on egg salad. It’s just for decoration and doesn’t have the same flavour); she used about ¼ tsp (thought she had more in the pantry) and substituted 1 Tbs cumin instead. Next time I make it I would use about a 1 Tbs of paprika.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet (that has a lid) over medium high heat. Put the flour in a wide bowl and mix in the salt/pepper and paprika. Dredge the chicken pieces lightly in the flour mixture and put in the pan to brown. Cook a few minutes on each side, just enough so that the chicken has browned but not enough to cook the chicken. Use a slotted spoon to remove from pan (so the oil stays in the pan) and set aside.
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 cups of medium or long-grain white rice
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste (or 1 cup of diced fresh or cooked tomatoes, strained)
- Pinch of oregano
Note from Kerry: I would definitely use tomato paste next time not diced tomatoes.
Add the rice to the pan to brown. Add a little more olive oil if necessary. Stir first to coat the rice with the olive oil in the pan.Don’t stir too much or you will prevent it from browning. Let it brown and then stir a little to let more of it brown. Watch the rice at this stage as it is at risk of burning! Sadly, the first batch got ruined when she came down to let me in. I felt badly!
Then add the onion and garlic. Cook the onion, garlic and rice mixture, stirring frequently, until the onions have softened, about 4 minutes. Place the chicken pieces, skin-side up, on top of the rice.
In a separate bowl, mix together the stock, tomato paste, and oregano. Slowly pour the stock mixture over the rice and chicken, being careful not to overflow the pan. You may not be able to fit it all in, and that’s okay. Bring to a simmer, reduce and cover. Let cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the rice and chicken are done.
Kerry had the pan piled so high, it was a good thing her lids are domed. Fit perfectly! She served the chicken pieces around the edge of a giant platter with the rice in the center. Looked incredible, tasted even better!