Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Arroz Con Pollo + Mini-Fail

Well, it has started. My husband seems to be hinting at me to stop buying the lower fat, natural, or organic versions of foods we often eat. I suspect this because of some items he picked up at the grocery store the other day. I thought he was going out just to get some bottled water, but Joe also came back with some Reese's peanut butter and Nacho Doritos. This is while we have a full jar of Natural Jif peanut butter already in the cupboard (which he used that morning so I know he was already aware of it), and after a couple of weeks of me picking up Baked Doritos at the grocery store as a potential snack. Did I know he probably preferred those less healthy items? Yes. Did I think he minded too much that I was getting the healthier versions? No. Am I now going to change my shopping habits? No. Sorry Joe. 

This week, however, I thought I would give him a break. Instead of making only healthy meals this week, I thought I would cook him something that he has been requesting: Mexican Rice. As in the kind you get at a Mexican restaurant. Not really something I think of when it comes to health food. However, since I was making it as a dinner I felt like I needed to make it more substantial (i.e. more than something that would normally be served as a side). So I decided to go with this Arroz Con Pollo recipe I found on Eat, Live, Run. 

Ok, I'll admit, I did swap the white rice for brown rice. I can't help myself. 

I, however, broke one of the cardinal rules of cooking: I didn't read the entire recipe before I started. Had I read the recipe, I would have realized that I needed a dutch oven, or at least some kind of oven safe pot. Being that I don't have one of those, I would have called my sister in law to borrow her's (or ran to target and bought one). But no. It was only after I started cooking that I realized this. I ended up having to improvise and transfer the contents of the pot to one of my casserole dishes and covering it with aluminum foil. Oh, well. It still worked. 

Arroz Con Pollo 
Adapted from Eat, Live, Run
1/4 cup orange juice
2 Tbs. lime juice
2 minced garlic cloves
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. canola oil
2 large chicken breasts, cubed
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 pints cherry tomatoes
1 diced yellow onion
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup green peas
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp crushed saffron
1 bay leaf
2 cups uncooked rice (I used brown, but either is fine)
3 cups chicken broth

Combine the first 5 ingredients and pour over the chicken. Let marinade for an hour in the fridge. 
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves, and place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Sprinkle oil oil on top and let roast for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once finished. remove from oven and set aside. Reduce the heat in the oven to 350 degrees. 

Once the chicken is finished marinading, heat a heavy ovenproof pot over high heat. Drizzle some olive oil in the pot, and then brown the chicken in 2 batches (do not cook through). Set aside.
In the same pot, add some more olive oil, and add the onions and garlic. Saute for about 2-3 minutes. Add the cumin, paprika, and saffron and mix. Add the roasted tomatoes and crushed tomatoes and mix again. 

Add the bay leaf, and then add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
Once at a boil, add the rice and stir to combine. Add the chicken, cover with a lid and place in the oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes.
Once finish, add the peas and stir (by this time the rice should have absorbed most of the liquid. 

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