This past Sunday, we enjoyed a simple Father’s Day at home…Marilyn, Ben, Nick and I. My only responsibility for the day was manning the grill. But instead of my usual steaks, burgers or fish fillets, I grill-smoked chicken thighs, then put my paella pan directly on the hot charcoal and made rice for an outdoor Arroz con Pollo.
Almost every culture has a version of chicken and rice, which is simple comfort food. I usually think of it as a Caribbean and Latin American dish, but Spain’s signature paella can be chicken and rice and I recently had congee at a Chinese dim sum joint. Besides some ingredients I couldn’t identify, the chicken feet and glutinous rice made this savory porridge another version of chicken and rice. The common thread is that the chicken is at least partially cooked in the rice, and the rice is usually wet, like porridge.
So whether you like feet, thighs or breasts, chicken and rice is a delicious dish made the world around. This easy kitchen recipe below is intended to be a guide. Toss in anything you like, especially sweet, hot and pickled peppers, extra onions, garlic, any kind of tomatoes, and sausage if you have some. Most important, enjoy it with your family. As delicious as it was, this Father’s Day meal still wasn’t as good as the homemade cards the boys made for me.
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Arroz con Pollo
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small diced yellow onion
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
12 halved cherry tomatoes
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 cups medium grain white rice
3 cups chicken stock
Pinch of paprika
4 pieces cooked bone-in chicken, thighs, legs or breasts
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil until it ripples. Add the onions and sauté until tender. Add the crushed garlic, cherry tomatoes and salt. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the rice, chicken stock and paprika. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. Top with cooked chicken and serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings
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