I have made this recipe many times over the years. It is adapted from the Foods of the World – Spain and Portugal, Time Life cookbook series. As I mentioned on my “About” page, my Mom subscribed to this series of cookbooks and received one country or region per month, for two years. I learned to cook many international dishes from these books. The original set was sold at one of their pre cross-country move yard sales. Thanks to eBay, I have a full set of my own!
Don’t faint when you go to buy the Saffron. A little goes a long way… it is worth the splurge. The color, taste and aroma are so unique – there is not a suitable substitute. Saffron is harvested and packed entirely by hand. The threads come from the saffron crocus, Crocus sativus. I may plant a few bulbs myself next year!
For the Arroz con Pollo
1 chicken, about 3 pounds, cut into 6 to 8 serving pieces
Salt and fresh ground pepper
oil for frying
1/4 pound salt pork, diced
1 chopped sweet onion
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry, white wine
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 to15 ounces)
1 1/2 cups rice, uncooked
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
3 cups hot chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon ground saffron
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Pat the chicken pieces completely dry with a paper towel. Season all sides with salt and pepper. Set aside. Warm a little oil in a heavy pan. Add the salt pork and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp and golden. Remove to a paper towel to drain.
Remove all but a tablespoon, or so, of oil from the cooking pan. Brown the chicken on all sides until it is a rich, golden brown. Remove from pan, when browned on all sides.
Add the onions and garlic to the pan and sauté until soft. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup white wine.
Add the tomatoes, with their juice, and the parprika. Simmer about 5 minutes. Add the rice, heated chicken stock, saffron, peas and pork. Bring to a simmer and cook about 5 minutes.
Return the chicken to the pot. Cover and continue to cook on low heat until the liquid has been absorbed and the chicken and rice are done, about 25 minutes. To serve, place a piece of chicken on top of a serving of rice. Garnish with copped parsley. Serve with a crisp green salad and crusty bread.