A great arroz con pollo begins with the sofrito, a blend of vegetables and herbs that is the base of most Puerto Rican stews and rice dishes. Here are the ingredients to our sofrito:
One cup of white onion, chopped
One cup of green pepper, chopped
One half of a red pepper, chopped
Four garlic cloves
Quarter cup of cilantro leaves, chopped
Quarter cup recao leaves, chopped
Adobo Dry Spice Rub
A mixture of dry spices, including cumin, oregano, granulated onion, garlic powder, salt and black pepper.
Four chicken quarter legs and thighs
Quarter cup of olive oil infused with achiote (seeds of the annatto tree)
Quarter cup of canned tomato paste
Quarter cup of green pimiento stuffed Spanish olives
Quarter teaspoon of ground black pepper
Three bay leaves (dried)
Four cups of long grain white rice
Six cups of chicken stock
One 12oz beer (optional)
Marinate the chicken in a mixture of olive oil and two tablespoons of the adobo dry rub mixture. (For best results, let the chicken marinate for a few hours to a day before cooking.)
Chop up the ingredients for your sofrito in a small bowl.
Preheat a medium-sized casserole pot with the achiote infused olive oil. If you arenít able to find achiote, plain olive oil will do nicely. Brown the chicken until seared and caramelized and golden brown (about five minutes over medium heat).
Next add the sofrito and sautee for another ten minutes.
Add the tomato paste, Spanish olives, black pepper and bay leaves. Stir and cook for 20 minutes (covered), until chicken is fully cooked.
Stir in rice thoroughly, then add the chicken stock and beer and bring to a boil at medium high-heat until most of the water has evaporated.
Finally stir rice and chicken and reduce heat to a simmer. Let cook for another 20 minutes (covered)or until rice is softened.