Arroz con Pollo

In English, chicken & rice, another good cold weather meal that makes the house smell so good and is relatively easy to make. So here we go.

I started with bone in chicken thighs that I generously salted and peppered and cooked skin side down first in a heavy pot until golden brown and then took them out and set them aside on a plate for a few minutes.

salt pepper chicken browned

While the chicken was cooking, I cut up 2 medium onions, 1 of each green and yellow peppers into medium-sized pieces. Once the chicken was out of the pot, leave the fat that has collected in the bottom. Add to it the onions and peppers plus two tablespoons of each tomato paste and chopped garlic and cook for about two minutes. At this time I added 2 cups of brown rice instead of the usual white.

cut up veges

cooking veges

added rice to veges

Now for the secret ingredient, I had some saffron in the cabinet so I threw in a very health pinch of it. You don’t have to but it just gives the dish an indescribable flavor coupled with the brown rice.

Now that everything is coated and stirred around with the oil from the bottom of the pot add your 5 cups of chicken broth and bring the pot to a boil. After it boils reduce the heat to a simmer and add the chicken back to the pot and put the lid on. Now the hard part, you have to wait about 40 minutes or so until the rice cooks. For the brown rice it takes almost an hour. Taste the rice to make sure it is done. Also you will see the chicken resting on a bed of rice in the pot. By then the chicken is cooked all the way through.

chicken in pot

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Here are few shots of the juicy chicken on top of a bed of rice with all the soft and flavorful vegetables mixed in. Go pour yourself another glass of wine and dig into the goodness.

arroz con pollo 1

arroz con pollo 2

Enjoy~

Honey BBQ Chicken Thighs with Mac-n-Cheese

As you might have figured out by now I just can’t cook for the two of us. So we had some chicken thighs left over from earlier in the week. They were just the thing I needed to make a quick dinner. My wife and I both had hard days and I knew this meal would make anyone in her family happy.

So here we go – turn the oven on to 275 degrees and let it preheat. Take a pan out and place some aluminum foil on it, this step will help greatly with clean up. Put the chicken on the pan and let them hang out for a minute. In a small bowl mix the following ingredients: tomato sauce, molasses, brown sugar, mustard, honey, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, salt and pepper. Play with the flavors that work best for you. You could even use premade honey BBQ sauce, if you do, I’d recommend adding extra honey. Carefully pour the mixture on the top of the chicken making sure to keep on the chicken. Put the pan in the middle of the oven and forget about it for about 30-45 minutes.

During the week sometimes you need some comfort food quickly. This time I reached up into the pantry and grabbed a couple of boxes of elbow noodles. I made a rue with butter and flour, then added about 2 cups of milk along with pepper and some chili powder. Stir on low heat for a couple minutes, then add in 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese. We make mac-n-cheese often and will experiment with different spices and cheeses.

Carefully take the chicken off the pan, try not to pull up any of the aluminum foil, because it is going to be sticky. Give yourself a couple of big scoops of mac-n-cheese and take a few minutes to savor the flavor of your childhood and let the day’s troubles melt away.  Make a quick salad to round out the meal and for something healthy. Enjoy ~

bbq chix and mac n cheese

Roast Chicken Mash & Peas

It’s funny how dinner comes about some nights. I look over at the drawers where I keep the onions and potatoes and I see 3 big potatoes starting to sprout, so I know I will use them in some way for dinner tonight.  Some more poking around I find a half-open bag of frozen peas and I knew I was making roast chicken for dinner anyway.

Started by peeling the potatoes and cutting them up into chunks because I’m going to make mashed potatoes. I put them in a pot, bring them to a boil, cook until they are fork soft. Then drain them and put them back in the pot and on the stove. On low heat, and add a stick of butter and some half & half to get them to the desired thickness then I add the salt & pepper to taste. This is how they end up.

cut potatoes

mashed potatoes

Today I have chicken thighs that I seasoned with salt & pepper, a little paprika, some granulated garlic and sprayed them with a little oil. Set the oven to 400 degrees and put them on the next to the top rack. Cook until they are a dark golden brown or until a thermometer reads at least 165 degrees nearest the bone.

chicken prep

In a small pan I mixed together some chicken stock and some beef stock and let that reduce on the stove while the chicken cooked. While the stock was boiling, I mixed together 2 tablespoons of flour with 1/3 cup of water and while whisking the stock, slowly poured in the slurry in until the stock thickened into a sauce. Check it for seasoning, it might need some pepper to offset the saltiness from reducing the stock.

gravy

I took the frozen peas put them in a pot with some water to cover, brought them to a boil for a minute or two then drained most of the water. Add a good sized piece of butter and add some salt & pepper to your liking, turn the heat off under the pot, cover the pot and let it sit there until you are ready to serve dinner.

As you can see, I plated the mashed potatoes, made a well for the sauce, and filled it to the brim, put a couple of scoops of peas on the plate and then the crispy skinned chicken thighs on the plate.  Pour yourself some sort of refreshing adult beverage and dig in!  Enjoy ~

roast chicken and mash