Arroz Con Pollo
(From the nameless Food Network personality)
1 (3-pound) whole chicken, cut into 10 serving pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 t. ground cumin
1 1/2 T. dried oregano
2 t. sweet paprika
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
2 dried chorizo sausages (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut into 1-inch chunks
1 Spanish onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red and 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 bay leaves
2 cups long grain white rice
1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes with liquid
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, warm
1 cup pimento stuffed green olives
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Rinse the chicken pieces and pat dry. In a small bowl, blend 2 tablespoons oil, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, paprika and cayenne. Rub each piece of chicken with the spice paste and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes for the flavor to develop.
In a heavy, ovenproof casserole with lid, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Fry the chorizo over medium heat until it is crispy and renders its fat. Remove the chorizo with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Place the chicken in the pan, skin side down, and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes Remove from pan and set aside. Make a sofrito by sauteing the onion, garlic, bell pepper and bay leaves; cooking until the vegetables are very soft and almost dissolved. Stir in the rice so the grains are well coated with the sofrito.
Crush the tomatoes lightly with a wooden spoon and add the tomatoes and broth, season with salt and pepper. Return the chorizo and chicken to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes. Cover and transfer pot to oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until the chicken is done and the rice is tender and has absorbed the liquid. Scatter the olives on top of the chicken and rice before serving.
Colombian Arepas (thin corn cakes)
1 c. masa harina (no substitute)
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/2 c. hot water
Stir together salt and masa harina. Pour in water and mix with spoon. Dough will be crumbly- DO NOT add more water. Resist! Get your hands in it and press it together- it should be dry. Break off small amounts and press them between your hands to flatten them. Fry them in oil in a hot skillet until both sides are browned. Serve hot. I add to the dough about a cup of frozen corn kernels that I put through a few pulses in the food processor.
NOTES FROM KATE’S KITCHEN:
I used lots extra pepper and onion in this dish, it adds a lot to the flavor. I also added more garlic because you just can’t get enough of the stinking rose. If you have fresh tomato, by all means use them (peeled first and roughly broken up) and add in a 14 oz can of tomato sauce to help with the ‘red’ factor of the dish. Use good quality green olives- not the jarred kind, the flavor is really enhanced with them, or if you can find tiny little spanish sweet pickled peppers known as Piparras, use them as a garnish. I used chicken thighs in this version with plenty of success, and used the mexican style of a looser chorizo as opposed to the spanish style dried. Both are good but remove the casings on the mexican if its all you can find. This dish is just as flavorful made as a simple spanish rice without the meats.