Growing up in my Mexican-American household, arroz con pollo was a very traditional dish.
It was one of my mom’s go to dishes. I can still dream up that amazing aroma in our kitchen as I was doing homework or walking in the door from cheerleading practice. It was a simple dish, quite filling and relatively easy to make when time was tight for my mom running 3 kids around for school activities.
I was pleasantly surprised when I asked award winning Chef Aarón Sánchez to share one of his favorite recipes with us at Latin Biz Today and his answer was this unique twist on the traditional Arroz con Pollo. This version is one of the dishes served up at his Johnny Sánchez restaurant in New Orleans, the crispy rice is a fun interpretation on this classic Latino dish. Try your hand at it and buen provecho!
ARROZ CON POLLO
Courtesy Chef Aarón Sánchez
• 4 boneless chicken thighs, grilled and sliced
• 2 tablespoons butter, cold
• 1 Poblano roasted, peeled and cut in strips
• 1 med onion, julienned or sliced
• 1 ripe tomato, roasted & stewed
• ½ cup red salsa
• ½ cup chicken or beef stock
•1 ½ cups crispy rice, see recipe below
• salt and pepper to taste
1 avocado, sliced
1 cup queso fresco
1 teaspoon chopped chives or green onion
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons good sea salt
- In a sauté pan over medium heat add 1 tablespoon butter to the pan.
- Once melted and bubbling add onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes, then add roasted poblano and tomato to the pan, sauté mixture for about 2 more minutes.
- Add the sliced chicken, salsa and stock to the pan. Simmer for about 2-3 minutes until the stock is slightly reduced.
- Add the rest of the cold butter, stirring the butter into the sauce until fully incorporated.
- Season with salt and pepper and then toss in the crispy rice, stirring until everything is evenly mixed and the rice has absorbed most of the liquid in the pan.
- The arroz con pollo should be just the right consistency not too dry and not too wet. Plate the contents in a large serving bowl and garnish with the queso fresco, avocado, salt and pepper and finish the whole dish with chopped cilantro, chopped chive and extra virgin olive oil.
• 1 ½ cups par-boiled rice
• 2 cups rice flour
• 2 inches of vegetable oil in a cast iron or deep skillet
- Follow the directions on the package for cooking the parboiled rice.
- When the rice is cooked, put onto a sheet tray and let cool in the refrigerator.
- Once cooled, in a large bowl toss well rice with rice flour, shake off well before frying.
- Heat oil in a deep-frying pan. Fry rice in batches until brown and crispy. (don’t crowd the pan)
You can try out more of Chef Aarón’s favorite recipes via his website and also in his new book Where I Come From, Life Lessons from a Latino Chef.