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Arroz Con Pollo Relleno (Stuffed Chicken & Rice)

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If there is a celebration in my family, this dish is sure to be the centerpiece. Though there are many versions of Chicken & Rice, this is how my Cuban grandma always made hers. I know it's authentic to her recipe because I literally stood in the kitchen and caught every morsel as she cooked so I could get the correct measurements, since her directions often called for "a pinch of this, and a dash of that."

Arroz Con Pollo Relleno (Stuffed Chicken & Rice)

  • Yield: 8-10 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 large chicken breasts, poached & shredded* in 4 cups water {broth reserved}
  • 1 small onion, rough chopped
  • 8 large cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, finely chopped
  • ⅓ c salad olives & pimentos, chopped
  • ½ of a 15 oz can early peas {or a small can, if you find that instead}
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1b. box of Uncle Ben's rice
  • 2 chicken boullion cubes
  • 2 teaspoons bijol seasoning
  • 1 {7 oz} can sweet red pimiento
  • ¼-½ cup mayonnaise
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Preparation

  1. Prepare "sofrito" - place chopped onion and garlic cloves in food processor. Pulse until most of garlic is chopped and large chunks are no longer visible. Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic mixture, and chopped green pepper. Sautee, stirring frequently, until softened and fragrant, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add olives/pimentos, peas, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and shredded chicken. Stir to thoroughly combine. Simmer for 5-8 minutes, then turn down to low and and allow to sit, covered, until ready to use.
  4. For rice - Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In an oven safe casserole or pot, bring 4 cups of chicken broth {reserved from poaching chicken, or store bought} plus ½ cup water to a boil over medium high heat.
  5. Add boullion cubes and allow to dissolve. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, bijol seasoning {annato} and rice. Return to a boil, cover, and place in oven for 15-20 minutes, or until liquid is fully absorbed and rice is tender.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly, about 20 minutes.
  7. In a large {9x12} baking dish, layer half of rice and smooth out evenly over bottom of dish, lightly packing it down. Pour chicken mixture over rice and smooth out in an even layer. Cover with remaining rice and pack down lightly.
  8. Spread ¼ cup mayonnaise in thin layer over top of rice, smoothing with an offset spatula or back of a spoon.
  9. Garnish with sweet red pimiento in whatever design or pattern you choose. Serve hot.

Recipe Tags

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