i was craving something with a saffrony-tomatoey taste, so this came to mind. i combined the two recipes i’ve been working with a new cooking method from a Cuban-American cookbook and it turned out so swell (moist juicy meat and fragrant rice ) that i just had to record it here for immediate recall….
arroz con pollo, baked in the oven
10 cloves of garlic, crushed
cracked black pepper sea salt
1 packet of Sazon Goya con azafran *
4-5 fresh sprigs of oregano, coarsely chopped up
1/4 lb. of salt pork brisket, cubed (optional)
6 chicken leg quarters
4 pieces of chorizos de bilbao
1 large Spanish onion, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced (or bottled roasted red peppers )
1/4 tsp. saffron
4 cups converted rice (such as Uncle Ben’s)
3 cups of chicken stock
1 28. oz. can of peeled tomatoes in juice, drained (reserve liquid for another use)
1 cup of beer
4 bay leaves
1 cup of baby peas, canned or frozen
preheat oven to 375F.
marinate chicken in 5 cloves of the garlic, enough olive oil to coat all pieces, the packet of Sazon, fresh oregano, salt and pepper. rub the spices all over. (*substitute: 4 tsps. hot smoked paprika, 3 tbsps. dried oregano, 2 tbsps. cumin, 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper, sea salt and peppercorns). set aside at least half an hour.
in a large heavy Dutch oven, over medium high heat, boil the salt pork, if using, in 2 cups water until water is almost all gone and then add a tiny bit of oil to help render out the fat. remove all the oil and scoop out the browned salt pork with a slotted spoon to a plate.
add olive oil to the Dutch oven and heat up, then add the chorizos (i didn’t slice the chorizos so as not to get the mixture too spicy). remove the sausages to the plate with a slotted spoon. lightly brown chicken on both sides, removing to the same plate.
add the onion, garlic, and red peppers and saute until soft. add saffron and rice. mix for 1 minute to coat rice. add chicken stock, beer, tomatoes, and bay leaves, stir for 1 minute, and add chicken, chorizo, salt pork, and peas. bring to a boil, cover and bake in oven for 45 minutes. shred the chicken meat and slice the chorizos. serve hot.
(adapted from “Our Latin Table,” by Fernando Saralegui.
my herb garden…it’s back! my must have herbs are mint, lemon balm, tarragon (struggling but alive), oregano, thyme, rosemary and basil (passed away, had to replace). i found baby shoots of cilantro yippee. and my stalwart sage was alive most of the winter until all the rain seemed to have drowned it then my daughter found the baby leaves shooting up from the seemingly dead stems. and now it has bloomed! they are the prettiest shade of periwinkle…wonder if i should cut them off to encourage new growth? wonder if i can keep them alive all season?