This authentic Puerto Rican recipe is a secret shared with FM by Valentin Abreu, associate executive chef at the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in New York City. Abreu learned the classic chicken and rice recipe from his mother, and has adjusted it to serve 100 people. The flavors of Puerto Rico come through in the dish, which begins with sofrito, the base of many great Latin dishes.
Arroz con Pollo
YIELD: 100 servings (6 oz. chicken and 2 cups rice per serving)
For the sofrito:
2 lbs. Spanish onions
2 lbs. green bell peppers, chopped
2 lbs. red bell peppers, chopped
4 cups cilantro
½ lb. garlic, chopped
½ cup Spanish paprika
¼ cup salt
1 qt. white wine
1 gal. olive oil
¼ cup adobo seasoning
For the chicken and rice:
38 lbs. chicken, cut into 8 pieces each
10 lbs. parboil rice
3 gallons water
½ cup sazon seasoning
2 lbs. frozen green peas
2 lbs. diced pimentos
1 lbs. red onions, julienne cut
1 qt. Spanish olives, pitted
2 cups capers
1. Wash chicken thoroughly; set aside.
2. For the sofrito: using a food processor, combine onions, green peppers, red peppers, cilantro, garlic, paprika, wine, oil and adobo. Blend well.
3. Add sofrito to chicken, marinate in refrigerator 1 hour.
4. Place marinated chicken in hot, deep skillet or Dutch oven. Cook for 15 minutes, turning to brown.
5. Add water. Let simmer for a few minutes, then add rice and sazon, stirring together. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes, until rice is tender and chicke is cooked to 165°F.
6. While chicken and rice are cooking, steam frozen green peas for 3 minutes, remove from heat and combine in bowl with pimentos, red onions, olives and capers. Set aside.
7. When chicken and rice are ready, place into serving pan. Garnish with pea and pimento mixture and serve.
Recipe: Valentin Abreu, Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center