Good morning, everyone!
I've been one busy girl here, but this morning I am taking a few minutes to share this wonderful recipe with you. It is total comfort food with a little kick! It's delicious if you eat it the same day and even a little better if you make it a day ahead. The recipe looks involved and complicated, but it really isn't at all. Give it a try!Puerto Rican Rice and Chicken Stew (Asopao de Pollo)
from James McNair's Rice Cookbook
2 tsp minced or pressed garlic
1 tsp crumbled dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp ground pepper or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
6 boned chicken thighs or breast halves, skinned if desired
3 tbsp good extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped green pepper (I always use a red pepper instead - we like them better)
4 oz chopped baked ham
1 cup ripe or canned chopped tomatoes, with their juices
2 cups white rice (if you use long grain, it stays a little more soupy; last time I used medium grain to make it a thicker stew)
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen petite green peas
1/4 cup pitted green olives, chopped
1 tbsp drained small capers
Roasted red pepper or canned pimiento, cut in strips, for garnish.
In a small bowl, combine the garlic, oregano, cumin, and salt and pepper. Rub mixture into chicken pieces and let stand, covered, at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
Heat the oil in big stockpot or cast iron dutch oven, add the chicken and sauté until golden on all sides. Remove the chicken and reserve.
Add the onion to remaining oil (add more oil if necessary) and the sweet pepper and saute until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the ham and tomatoes and saute about 5 minutes longer.
Return the chicken to the pot, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken pieces to a cutting surface. When cool enough to handle, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces; reserve.
Wash and drain the rice. Increase heat to medium-high. Add the rice and sauté for two minutes until all grains are well coated, about 2 minutes.
Stir in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the rice is tender, but still soupy, about 17 minutes.
Stir in the cheese, peas, olives, and capers and the reserved chicken. Cover and simmer until the cheese melts and the other additions are heated through, about 5 minutes.
Serve in individual bowls garnished with the pimento strips.