Steve’s Easy Cuban Arroz con Pollo (Chicken & Yellow Rice)
- 10 cups of water
- 4 pounds of skinless chicken with bone. I prefer dark meat.
- 4 cups of Valencia short grain rice (two 14 oz. packages.)
- 1 large onion
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 large carrot
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon ground oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon yellow coloring (optional)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 fresh culantro leaves (May substitute cilantro or omit.)
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves (optional; can substitute thyme or cilantro)
In a heavy stockpot, heat water on high. Add chicken. Grate vegetables (or chop) and add to pot. Add garlic, salt and ground spices. When water is at full boil, reduce to medium heat and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove chicken and place on a plate to cool. Return pot to high and boil liquid to continue reducing.
In about 15-20 minutes, chicken should be cool enough to remove from bones with a fork. Tear chicken into irregular pieces and set aside in a large bowl.
Pour reduced liquid from pot into the bowl with chicken. Return empty pot to high heat and add olive oil and rice. Stir rice in the oil for about 2 minutes.
Add 8 cups of liquid back to the pot and stir. If there’s not enough liquid, make up the difference with water or beer. Do not add more than 8 cups of liquid unless you like the rice “Asopado” – soupy. When it reaches a boil, add chicken and culantro leaves and reduce to low temperature. Simmer covered for 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
Fluff in fresh herbs and serve. The classic side dish is fried sweet plantains. French fries or fried green plantains go well too.