Arroz con Pollo is a staple of many Latin American households and there are as many ways to prepare it as there are moms and grandmothers. I make it the way I was taught by my neighbor in the Panama Interior, with a few spins of my own.
What’s even better is Arroz con Pollo is versatile; serve it hot or cold, and it’s easy to put your own spin on it using whatever feels right to you, or what makes sense from your fridge on any given day. Leave out the chicken and bingo! Now you have a Vegetarian/Vegan dish!
My recipe is perfect for both left-over chicken and left-over rice. I don’t always make it with left-overs. I’ve been known to gently poach chicken breasts and then hand-shred them. But that’s just not necessary. And if you are using freshly cooked rice, chill it before blending it into the dish.
This past Saturday was “beach out like a whale” day which in my house. means lots of binge TV and binge food, including super market fried chicken.
On Sunday, I was left with an ample amount of tender chicken under the cold, crusty, greasy skins. I also had a decend amount of cold, left-over chinese take-out rice (let’s not discuss that binge!) — perfect since this recipe uses cold rice.
I peeled and tossed the chicken skins, shredded the tender meat, and set it aside.
ARROZ con POLLO
- Place two cups of cold, cooked, white rice into a large bowl. If you have freshly cooked rice, spread it out in a wide dish and refrigerate 1/2 hour.
To the rice, add the following, adjusting quantities according to taste.
- 1 or 1-1/2 cups of shredded chicken breast
- 2 Tablespoons sliced green (or black) olives
- 1 Teaspoon of caper berries
- 1 Very thinly sliced or shredded carrot
- 1/4 Cup chopped cilantro
- 1 Teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/4 Cup green peas (Frozen…then run under warm water.)
- 1/4 Cup corn (Frozen is fine, just run under warm water.)
As a main course, I was taught to serve this warm and always together with a light, crispy and simple salad with Russian dressing. Personally, I love the warm rice dish together with the crisp cold of the salad.
TIPS: This is such a versatile and deceptively filling way to eat rice and chicken so change it any way that works.
- Add chopped celery tops (the light green only) or celery heart.
- Make it without the chicken and you have a Vegetarian/Vegan dish.
- Toss in a little olive or caper juice, or even a squeeze of lemon or vinegar
- Some people add chopped tomato
- Remember: Use cold rice. It’s easy to quickly chill freshly made rice.
- Serve hot or cold, as a side dish or as a main course.