One a scale of 1 to romantic… where do you fall?
I fall at the medium-low level… let’s call if a 4.6. Go easy on the candle light, long stem roses, and limo rides (unless there’s a hot tub in back). I don’t need jewelry, but diamonds are always nice (it’s a paradox, I dunno…). Carriage rides? Meh. Horse rides? Cooler. Horse ride followed by margaritas? Now you’re on to something.
I’m not the heart locket and stuffed animal type. I’m more the Le Creuset and expensive chocolate type.
I also think large pots of warm rice and chicken are an 8.7 on the romantic scale.
This is a really lovely, one-pot dish, that starts with wine and saffron.
Many good things come from wine and saffron.
Olives, rice, and chicken. That’s all we’re getting ourselves into.
In a pot together, magic romantic things happen.
Bubble and simmer. Bubble and simmer.
Everything in the pot, and the rice soaks it all up.
There’s no way to dry the chicken, or otherwise futz up this dish. If the rice gets burned and crunchy on the bottom… that’s totally the best part.
There are a few tricks… if you’re using a large pot, make sure that you move it around on the burner so that the simmer hits every part of the pan. Fifteen minutes in the center of the pot. Ten minutes on one side of the pot. Ten minutes on the other side of the pot. Sometimes pockets of rice can remain uncooked if the pan is too large. Also.. don’t be afraid to add a touch more broth if your rice isn’t cooking up. No worries. Keep it easy.
This Arroz con Pollo is a super classic, ultra-comforting dish. Listen… if you’d like to claim that your mother makes a better Arroz con Pollo that I do… guess what? You’re probably right. This dish is good… really really good. I just don’t want to do battle with your mother… that’s all I’m saying.
I’d love for you to make this dish for a special someone on, or near Valentine’s Day. It’s comfort food that should be shared with love. After dinner you can both stand around the pot with spoons and scrape the bottom of the pot for crunchy rice bits while you finish the bottle of wine. That’s romance. That’s friendship. That’s just love.
Arroz con Pollo
Dinner for Two, Leftovers for Two
adapted from Martha Stewart
makes 4 pieces of chicken
3/4 cup dry white wine
pinch of saffron threads (just a few strands is plenty)
4 chicken thighs (skin on)
salt and pepper for seasoning chicken
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes (mostly drained)
1 bay leaf
about 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or to taste) and 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
2 1/4 cups chicken broth (you may need a bit more)
1 1/2 cups white rice
scant 1 cup large green pimento olives
Combine wine and saffron in a small bowl. The saffron will begin to breed yellow. Great! Set aside.
In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Season both sides of the chicken generously with salt and pepper.
Place chicken pieces, skin side down, in the hot oil. Allow to crispy and fry for 4 to 5 minutes. Flip over and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the chicken pieces from the hot pan and place on a clean plate.
Add onions and garlic to the pan. Cook, stirring, until soft and tender, about 10 minutes. Add the partially drained can of tomatoes, bay leaf, salt and pepper, and saffron wine. Allow to simmer, uncovered, until the mixture has reduced by half, about 10-15 minutes.
Add the rice to the pot. Add the chicken broth and chicken pieces. Top with olives. Reduce the heat to low, place the lid on the pot, and allow to simmer until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 30-40 minutes.*
* There are a few tricks… if you’re using a large pot, make sure that you move it around on the burner so that the simmer hits every part of the pan. Fifteen minutes in the center of the pot. Ten minutes on one side of the pot. Ten minutes on the other side of the pot. Sometimes pockets of rice can remain uncooked if the pan is too large. Also.. don’t be afraid to add a touch more broth if your rice isn’t cooking up. No worries. Keep it easy.
Check the rice after 30 minutes to make sure that it is cooking evenly. Add more broth, a cup at a time, if necessary.
Once cooked, allow to rest for 10 minutes with the lid on.
Dish will last, in a container in the fridge, for up to 3 or 4 days.