The first episode I watched was about birthday traditions, and one of her stops was to Honduras where arroz con pollo is the traditional birthday meal. Right then and there, as I watched the show, I knew I had to make this dish. Simple ingredients such as carrots, peas, chicken and rice, along with spices, turned into a beautiful comforting meal.
So as I made this dish this afternoon the house smelled heavenly of curry and cumin. Although there are a few steps, putting this together was fairly simple. And I loved making my own chicken stock.
I will admit though, that my boys were not that impressed with the meal. They said there was too much curry, but how is that possible? There is never too much curry. At least I don't think. Throw this meal together and find out for yourself!
Arroz Con Pollo
Recipe adapted from The Cooking Channel
3 pounds whole chicken parts
4 whole garlic cloves, skins removed
2 whole carrots
2 diced carrots
2 stalks celery
1 bay leaf
1 small onion, peeled but kept whole
2 cups long-grain rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 Tbs curry powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 cup frozen peas
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large stockpot combine the chicken pieces with 6 cups of water, the garlic cloves, the whole carrots, the celery stalks, bay leaf and onion. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes to create a stock. Remove the chicken and let cool slightly. Continue to cook the stock for 30 more minutes over low heat. Meanwhile, shred the chicken. Rinse the rice in a colander well and let it dry while the stock is cooking.
Once the stock is ready, remove the large pieces of veggies and strain through a fine mesh sieve into a measuring cup. You will need 4 cups of the stock.
Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the curry powder and cumin and toast for 30 seconds. Add the rice and cook until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.
Add the shredded chicken, peas, diced carrots, and 4 cups chicken stock. Season well with salt and black pepper. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes over medium heat.
Turn down the heat to medium low and cover and cook for about 25 more minutes. Turn off the heat and let the rice rest for 10 minutes, covered. Fluff with a fork and serve.