I love HISPANIC and LATIN AMERICAN flavors. This Puerto Rican Pollo Recipe is more popularly known in its native Country as Arroz Con Pollo. This recipe has super flavors derived from three different sources. First, there is a vegetable mix with fresh herbs, garlic and some spicy peppers. The second flavor is created from a sauce/liquid developed from annatto seeds. The final saltiness in this recipe comes from the addition of olives. I am not a big olive fan by themselves but when included in this dish, they add such a unique tang to the overall flavor.
I really like working with and obviously the flavor of ANNATTO. It is a seed that comes from the achiote tree. I have both the seeds and the powder and use the powder often in my Mexican dishes It imparts a great flavor and red color to dishes. I recently made a Mexican Chicken Parmesan using the achiote powder that was delicious. Two summers ago I made an Achiote Mexican Burger that truly highlighted this wonderful ingredient.
Arroz Con Pollo is a chicken and rice dish that is probably considered the National dish of Puerto Rico. It is true comfort food. It is a dish you can imagine on many stovetops in Puerto Rico on a weekend that families gather around for. What many of us should like in addition to the great flavors is that it is a one pot meal. Everything is cooked in sequence in a Dutch oven. In this way, the rice absorbs all the flavors that have been created from the vegetables and the chicken.
Annatto seeds, then steeping and finally straining.
The spices, then added to pan, and the chicken marinating.
The chicken after baking.
The onions and peppers, the veggie mix, and then, the two combined.
Veggie mix in Dutch oven, rice added and mixed in.
Tomatoes added, and then, the stock, and finally the chicken added back in.
The final Puerto Rican Pollo recipe – arroz con pollo.
- 1/4 cup Achiote Oil, recipe follows
- 8 - 10 chicken thighs
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups chipotle BBQ sauce.
- Fine sea or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
- 8 ounces finely chopped roasted red peppers
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons seasoned salt
- 2 tablespoons adobo seasoning
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- Pinch ground cloves
- 4 cups long-grain rice
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1 large bottled roasted red peppers, cut into 1/4-inch strips (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons achiote (annatto) seeds
- 2 medium Spanish or yellow onions , cut into large chunks
- 1 red and green bell pepper rough chop
- 3 jalapenos diced
- 8 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 large bunch cilantro, washed
- 3 to 4 ripe plum tomatoes (about 1 pound), cored and cut into chunks
- 8 ounces frozen peas
- Fill a pot with about 2 cups of water and add the annatto seeds.Bring to a low boil and let stand for an hour.
- Strain and reserve in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Reserve the seeds.
- Add the stock to a broiling pan with the spices and chipotle BBQ sauce.
- Also add in the saved annatto seeds.
- Marinade for 3 - 6 hours and overnight if you have time.
- Remove the chicken and cook in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes.
- Let sit until ready to return to Dutch oven.
- In a Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid, heat the Achiote Oil over medium-high heat until the oil is simmering.
- Add the 2 tablespoons of the annatto oil and then add the Sofrito.
- Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
- Add the cumin and cloves.
- Stir in the rice until coated.
- Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the stock and mix the rice.
- Return the chicken to the pan.
- Cover the pan and cook until the liquid is absorbed, the chicken is cooked through, and the rice is tender but firm, about 20 minutes.
- Chop the onion and Cubanelle or Italian peppers in the work bowl of a food processor until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, add the remaining ingredients 1 at a time and process until smooth. The sofrito will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It also freezes beautifully.
- *Cook's Note: Ajices dulces are little sweet peppers that look similar to the fiery hot Scotch bonnet or habanero peppers, only smaller. They have a wonderful fresh herbal flavor, almost like cilantro, but only a tiny bit of heat. Culantro is an herb with broad, round-tipped leaves. Its flavor is similar to cilantro, but much more intense. Both ajices dulces and culantro are available in Latin markets. If you cannot find them, simply increase the amount of cilantro to 1 1/2 bunches.
- Test your rice for doneness.
- The chipotle BBQ sauce is made from scratch. But use any store bought sauce.