Califonia Bountiful
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Arroz con Pollo

Arroz con Pollo


1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 links chorizo (about 5 oz.), casings removed and cut into 1/8 inch dice
1 whole chicken breast, split, skin and excess fat trimmed, and each piece halved crosswise
4 chicken thighs, fat trimmed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, well drained, juices reserved
2 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 tsp. crushed saffron threads
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups medium grain rice
2 tsp. thyme leaves
1/2 cup frozen petite green peas, thawed
2 tbsp. sliced pimento-stuffed green olives


Heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-low heat. Add sausage and cook, stirring, until sausage is browned and fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a side dish. Discard all but 1 tbsp. of the fat from the skillet.

Sprinkle chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Add chicken to the hot skillet; increase heat to medium and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a side dish. Discard all but 1 tbsp. of the fat from the skillet; set skillet aside.

Combine liquid from tomatoes and chicken broth in a 4 cup glass measuring cup. Add enough water to make 3 1/4 cups. Heat to a boil in a medium saucepan; cover and keep hot over low heat.

Toast saffron in a small, dry skillet over low heat for 20 seconds. Add 1/2 cup hot broth. Remove from heat; cover and let stand until ready to use.

Add onion and green pepper to the skillet used for the chicken; cook, stirring, over medium heat until edges are browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute. Stir in rice; cook, stirring, over low heat until rice is thoroughly coated with oil. Add saffron, hot broth, 1 tsp. salt and a grinding of black pepper; stir to combine.

Sprinkle sausage on top. Tuck chicken into rice mixture. Place tomatoes and thyme on top. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add peas; cover and cook for 5 minutes more. Let stand, covered, off the heat, for 10 minutes. Uncover and cook over medium-high heat to cook off any excess moisture, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with chopped olives and serve.

Note: If chorizo is unavailable, you may substitute hot Italian sausage plus a pinch of red pepper flakes. A substitute for saffron is 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric plus 1 tsp. ground cumin.

Adapted from "The Amazing World of Rice" by Marie Simmons (William Morrow, 2003)

Serves 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes