Monday, August 15, 2011

Memi's Favorite: Abuela's Arroz Con Pollo A La Chorrera

Everyone has a favorite dish that they can seemingly eat day in and day out for the rest of their lives.  Mine has changed from time to time as I have grown and tried new things. But today, we are not going to discuss my favorite; we are going to delve into a dish that has made my sister's mouth water as far back as I can remember.

Abuela has always made Arroz con Pollo a La Chorrera to mark special occasions. Be it a birthday, anniversary or Easter Sunday -- the smells coming out of that kitchen and my sister's happy dances are key to those memories.

This weekend, I had the urge to recreate this delicious dish for Mi Gringito, Los Suegros and some of their friends. So what's a girl to do? I called Abuela and had a cooking consultation.  Readers, I do this frequently.  We gab about what's been going on since we last spoke as well as reminisce on dishes she has made me in the past.  I then ask her how she makes one of her many delectable dishes. "Mi Niña, tu sabes que yo lo hago todo de ojo" - Translation: "My little one, you know that I do it all by eye." Hence, no measurements.

So, after about an hour of back and forth here is the recipe I was able to conjure up:

Abuela's Arroz Con Pollo A La Chorrera
Ingredients:
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or enough to cover the bottom of pan)
3 Large Boneless-Skinless Chicken Breasts
Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper
Dried Oregano
1/4 C Sofrito (I buy the GOYA version)
2 12oz Bottles of Beer (I used Beck's since "La Llave" was Abuelo's beverage of choice)
1 12oz can of Tomato Sauce
2 14.5oz cans of Chicken Stock (I used a Low Sodium/Fat Free variety)
2 packets of GOYA Seasoning
2 C White Rice, uncooked
1 C frozen small peas, thawed
1 small jar of Pimentos
Tabasco Sauce, to taste

Directions

  • Season both sides of the breasts with the salt, pepper & oregano.
  • In a large heavy stock pot, heat olive oil and saute the sofrito until fragrant -- approximately one (1) minute on medium-high heat.
  • Sear the chicken breasts in the sofrito -- approximately one to two (1-2) minutes per side.
  • Add one bottle of beer and let cook for five (5) minutes.
  • Add the chicken stock, tomato sauce, GOYA seasoning and about one-half (1/2) tsp of salt. Stir to mix ingredients.
  • Add the rice, and stir again.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil by raising the heat to high.
  • Once boiling, reduce to low and cover.  Let simmer for thirty (30) minutes.
  • Add the second bottle of beer to the rice.
  • Cover again and continue to simmer for ten (10) minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Remove chicken from pot and set on a plate or cutting board.  Using two forks, shred the breasts.
  • Add the chicken, peas & pimentos back into the rice along with a dash (or two or three) of Tabasco sauce.  Mix well and let sit for about five (5) more minutes.


Viola!

I apologize for lack of pictures, but I do have the before and after.  Here's my question to you: do you think they liked it?

Before...

I think they were just being polite...


Sigh, I'm actually sad that there wasn't any leftovers.  It was such a hit that I can't wait to make it again.  Who knows -- I just might make it for Abuela when I go visit her in Miami next week.

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