Comfort food is comforting because it’s predictable. It’s a sure thing in an unsure world. Where ever you are in the Spanish speaking world, arroz con pollo is THE comfort food recipe that the head of every family must master before they can be considered for the job. Yep, it’s pretty important.
We drum up a batch of arroz con pollo at least once a week at the ranch, but you know me…I just can’t leave well enough alone. I thought I would tweak the age old recipe, and give the equivalent of our meal time teddy-bear a twist that is sophisticated, and worthy of serving to fancy house guests.
Chicken with Rice and Chile Poblano is Comfort Food
Chile poblano is always in our produce bin at the house, as it is one of my husband’s favorites. Roasting a chile pobalno in order to remove the peel and gently cook them is not an unpleasant chore, but should be done before it is added to your pan. This recipe calls for no tomato, but if the concept of Arroz con Pollo without tomato is just too discomforting, you have my permission to add a small chopped tomato to the pan, with no ill effect.
The secret to truly amazing arroz cor pollo is to use good chicken stock. Most people opt for the powdered kind of soup base mix instead of good stock. Some people now call chicken stock “bone broth” but my stock has always taken a long time to make, extracting every bit of flavor out of the bone. Not sure if this new name connotes a different method of flavor extraction, but chicken stock has been made one way for as long as there have been chicken clucking across the planet.
I also like to brown the onions and chicken very well, so that the flavor of the dish is deeply caramelized, and rich. We have arroz con pollo at least once a week at the ranch, and it is such a standard, that I didn’t include too many “How-To” pics in the post. For more info or step by step pics, check my traditional recipe for Arroz con Pollo.Print
Arroz con Pollo con Chile Poblano
- Yield: 6 Servings
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Sauteeing
- Cuisine: Latin American
2 chile poblano
2 tbsp. vegetable oil or chicken fat if available (30ml)
3 lbs. chicken pieces, cut into portions (1.5kg)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cups chicken broth or water (720ml)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups uncooked white rice (370 gr)
Salt and pepper to taste
Roast the chile poblano on the open flame of a gas burner, or underneath your oven’s broiler. Roast until the chiles are blackened but not burnt, about 3-5 minutes. Wrap the roasted chiles in a clean kitchen towel, and them place the bundle in a grocery bag, either paper or plastic. Allow the chiles to sweat for at least 10 minutes. Remove the chiles from the bag and towel, and peel away charred skin. Rinse the chiles, and remove top stem, and interior seeds. Rinse again if necessary to remove any extra skin or seeds that cannot be removed by hand. Slice into strips, and set aside.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large covered 3qt (3lt) Dutch oven or sauté pan. Add the onions, and sauté for about a minute. Add the chicken pieces, skin side down, and brown over medium heat until very well browned, about 7 minutes. Turn the chicken over, and brown for another 3-4 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan, and hold in a separate plate while you prepare the rice. Leave the caramelized onions in the pan.
Add the uncooked rice to the hot pan with onions. Stir and toast the rice until it turns opaque, about 2 minutes. Carefully add the chicken broth or water, which will steam quickly. Add the garlic and the chiles strips.
Return the chicken pieces to the pan, and season with salt and pepper. Cover, and adjust to a medium low heat. Simmer for 25 minutes, without removing the lid. All of the liquid should be absorbed. If not, cover and cook for 5 more minutes.