December 05, 2002
Arroz con Pollo
posted by Carl

God, I love the meat section of the Whole Foods store. We don't normally shop there since it's more expensive and has a more limited selection of "normal" things, but they have the most wonderful looking meats. I had recently seen a cooking show about Arroz con Pollo (chicken with rice) that contained smoked chorizo sausage in addition to the chicken. I picked up a few links of raw chorizo as well as nice free-range, organic chicken with the intention of making the dish I had seen on TV. Unfortunately, I forgot to get a few other things that the recipe called for, so I modified the recipe to reflect the ingredients we had on hand. Since I was already changing it, I decided to incorporate some of the ideas I had gotten from Mark Bittman's column about Thai style curry in the NYTimes food section yesterday.

I don't think I can remember enough of what I did to put it into a recipe form so I'll just tell it like it happened. I cut up the chicken into parts, saving the wings and legs for a later dinner. The breasts I rubbed with a blend of spices that included garam masala, curry powder, cumin, and salt and pepper. (The garam masala and curry are the "real deal" as they were brought back from Morocco by my parents.) I seared the chicken breasts, set them aside, then sautéed an onion that had been cut into quarter-rounds. After the onion had cooked for minute, I tossed in two whole cloves of garlic and a couple of dried chiles. I let the garlic take on some color, then added a can of tomatoes, 3/4 cup of rice, the chicken, and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes. I stirred everything through, covered the pot and reduced the heat. It took about half and hour or forty minutes for the rice to cook. Towards the end, I had to add a bit of water since it looked a bit dry, but for the most part, it was very simple. The dish turned out delicious; the tastes of the garam masala and curry mixed very well with the tomatoes. Nadia didn't want any, but I mixed a little bit of cream into my serving which added an extra touch of richness to the sauce. I will definitely make this again.