Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Arroz con Pollo

Brought a few simple recipes to Tennessee because I really wasn't sure what kind of ingredients that I would find here. There is a serious lack of beef cuts available, mostly steak and pounded steak. At least the chicken packs seem to be familiar. There is a minor Mexican food section in the grocery store and a surprisingly decent produce section. All of the ingredients that are required for making Arroz con Pollo.

Adapted from Sunset "Fresh Ways with Chicken".

Start by marinating bone-in, skinless chicken thighs with crushed garlic, salt, ancho chile powder, and cider vinegar in a Ziplock bag for an hour.

While the chicken is chilling, dice a couple red bell peppers, onions, and carrots. Fry four thick slices of bacon in a pot and put on a paper towel for later use. With remaining bacon grease (Tennessee style), saute the diced vegetables.

Once the chicken is marinated, push the vegetables to the sides of the pot and put the chicken pieces in the center browning the outside for a couple of minutes on each side. Push the browned chicken pieces to the side again opening up the center for additional pieces. Continue these steps until all the chicken is browned, then stir up the pot contents.

Add crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, and red pepper flakes. Simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and transfer the pot contents to a baking pan. Add rice to the top, cover pan, and put into oven. After 10 minutes, turn chicken over and mix rice around. Cover and put back into the oven for another 10 minutes. Again, move the chicken and rice around. If the contents are a leaning dry, add some water.

Cover and again put back in oven for another 10 minutes. At this point, the chicken and rice should be cooked. Now its time to remove the chicken meat from the bones. Luckily, my sister-in-law is a doctor and showed me an easy way to remove with the hot meat without burning my fingers. The double-tong-pinch-and-pull. Same technique used to remove people organs.

Once all the meat is separated from the bones, mix in a jar of sliced red peppers and the diced bacon from earlier. Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Chicken Cacciatore

I do love Mexican food, but when family comes over for dinner, it is Italian food that they prefer. Tonight, its going to be Chicken Cacciatore.

Ok, the real reason I picked this dish is that bone-in chicken breasts and thighs were on sale for $0.99 a pound. It was either this dish or Yellow Mole but like I said, family was coming over.

Adapted from Sunset "Fresh Ways with Chicken".

This dish isn't all that complicated. Dice your carrots, celery, onion, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Saute with olive oil until the onions are soft.

Remove the skin and as much of the fat as you can from the chicken. Wash and pat dry with paper towels. Heat up some olive oil and butter, then brown each piece of chicken on both sides. Mix the chicken pieces in with the vegetables. Add some basil, oregano, bay leaves, parsley, black pepper, salt, tomato puree, and red wine to the pot. Get the liquid to a boil, then reduce and cover pot for 45 minutes until chicken is cooked thoroughly.

Remove chicken pieces with tongs and place into a baking pan. Cover chicken with tin foil and put in a 175 degree oven to keep warm. I like to keep the sauce simmer for an hour or two to get the desired thickness. Once the sauce is ready to your satisfaction, pull the chicken from the oven and place on a platter. Spoon the sauce on top and serve.

Buon Appetito

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