Everyone has their own version of arroz con pollo. It varies from region to region, some people use tomatoes, others use chicken broth and in some extreme cases, your grandma stops talking to you for days if you don’t make a sofrito. I'm not even kidding.
This recipe is a mix and match of things that work for me. I can’t say this recipe is from a particular region but trust me, it comes out great every time I make it. I love to use my cast iron skillet when I make my arroz con pollo. Using cast iron is very practical. You can serve it straight from there and it stays warm longer. My favorite part of this all-in-one dish is the caramelized rice in the bottom of the skillet, it’s crispy and very flavorful, much like a paella.
Bright and a little spicy, this salsa verde is the perfect complement to this dish. I love this salsa, it goes very well with a lot of dishes, especially grilled foods. Here is the recipe, try it and make it your own! Buen provecho!
For the salsa verde
1 small bunch parsley
1 small bunch cilantro
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 jalapeños, seeded
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Extra virgin olive oil as needed
Place all the ingredients in a food processor (except the olive oil) and process until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and add enough olive oil to cover the herbs and make it easy to pour. Cover and set aside.
For the Arroz con Pollo
8 pieces of chicken
salt and pepper to taste
1 small carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves minced
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice, washed and drained (I used Basmati)
2 tablespoons of tomato paste disolved in 1/4 cup of water
1 pinch of saffron or 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup seedless green olives
In a 12-inch cast iron skillet, heat a couple of tablespoons of canola oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add it to the pan, skin side down. Cook the chicken until browned, it does not have to be cooked through, we just want some color. Remove the chicken from the pan and add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes then add the rice, cook for another 2 minutes then add the tomato paste, saffron or turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir to mix well then return the chicken to the skillet (skin side up). Add enough water to cover the rice but not the chicken, it should come half way up the chicken. Add the olives and let the whole thing simmer until the water is at the same level of the rice. Lower the heat to low, cover the skillet and let it cook until water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it rest for 10 minutes before you serve it. Serve with salsa verde.