Tuesday, July 28, 2009
All day long I sit in the office and think about what I'm going to have for dinner that night. Yesterday, I could only think about the cut up chicken I had taken out to defrost the night before. An arroz con pollo was calling my name. With saffron rice and smoked spanish paprika it was perfect for what ailed me. And since I accidentally ordered double the amount of chicken I had needed for the weekend picnic would be a perfect way to use it up. You can imagine my distress when I came home and discovered that the chicken wasn't defrosted yet!
Fast forward to this evening. At 5:25 pm I abandon the office and my import files still waiting to be uploaded. In the high heat and humidity I rush home thinking only of the culinary adventures that await. When I get in I momentarily falter as I am suddenly overwhelmed by the heat, my clothing sticking to me in places that I didn't even realizes existed. I turn on the A/C, get into something comfy and let the adventures begin.
First I prep my veggies - chopping up red pepper, yellow onion, lots of garlic and some briney pimento stuffed green olives. I brown the chicken pieces in a little olive oil and when they are golden all over I pull them from the pan, wipe out the excess grease and saute the veggies until soft and starting to brown. Then add the paprika (I like spanish smokey paprika for its complexity here), garlic and rice. For this one I didn't have enough long grain or arborio so used a combination of the two. White wine, chicken stock, diced tomatoes (with juice), bay leaf and saffron all bubble together. Then the chicken goes back in with a lid while it bubbles and brews and becomes a vat of delicousness. Just before its done I add a cup of frozen peas and some chopped green olives and let them just heat through. Before serving a sprinkle of fresh parsley for color and zip.
Was it worth the wait? Most definitely!