Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lightened Up Arroz Con Pollo

"Arroz con pollo" (chicken and rice) is an easy 1-dish meal that could be made together on a weeknight or for a family gathering. The chicken is marinated in Sazon seasoning and vinegar, then cooked briefly on the stove top. You then remove the chicken and add the chopped vegetables to make the (scrumptious) Latin rice. As the rice cooks, you nestle the chicken back into the pot and allow it to cook all the way through whilst cooking the rice. Flavorful and easy, it's a filling meal that is also healthy.

I had read many positive reviews on this recipe, but several mentioned that the rice proportions were way off; thus, I halved the recipe. I also wanted to "healthify" this dish and thus opted to use boneless skinless chicken breasts. The Sazon seasoning can be found in the Mexican/Spanish ethnic aisle at the grocery store. Any Sazon seasoning is fine, but I use this one from Goya brand and love it:


Arroz Con Pollo, Lightened Up
Ingredients:
  • 3-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 Tbsp white distilled vinegar
  • 6 tsp Goya Sazon seasoning, divided
  • 1-1/2 tsp Adobo powder (I used Penzey's Adobo seasoning)
  • 1-1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 5 scallions, chopped (I used up to 2/3 of the green parts)
  • 1/4 cup diced bell pepper
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1-1/4 cups enriched long grain rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • Salt to taste (about 2 tsp)

Directions:
  1. Season chicken with vinegar, 1-1/2 tsp Sazon seaoning, adobo and garlic powder and let it sit 10 minutes. Heat a large, deep heavy skillet on medium heat, adding 1 Tbsp oil when hot. Add chicken and brown 7 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside.
  2. Add other 1 Tbsp of olive oil, and place onion, cilantro, garlic, scallions, and pepper in the deep skillet, and sauté onion mixture on medium until soft, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Add tomato, cook another minute. 
  4. Add rice, mix well and cook another minute. 
  5. Add water, bouillon (be sure it dissolves well) and remaining 4-1/2 tsp Sazon seasoning, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Taste for salt, should taste salty enough to suit your taste, add more as needed.
  6. Add chicken and nestle into rice, bring to a boil. Simmer on medium-low until most of the water evaporates and you see the liquid bubbling at the top of the rice line (this took me 10-15 minutes), then reduce heat to low heat and cover. Make sure the lid has a good seal, no steam should escape (You could place a piece of tin foil or paper towel in between the lid and the pot if steam escapes).
  7. Cook covered for 20 minutes without opening the lid. 
  8. Shut heat off and let it sit with the lid on an additional 10 minutes (don't peak!!!) Fluff with a fork and eat!
Source: Adapted from Skinnytaste

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