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When made with an aromatic mix of roasted peppers and saffron, everyday chicken and rice is deliciously transformed into arroz con pollo, a Latin-American favorite. The hearty dish works well for a weeknight supper—or a weekend fiesta. Here's how to make it step-by-step, plus scrumptious next-level variations.
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1. Soak saffron and brown chicken
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine saffron and wine in a bowl. Pat chicken dry; season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large straight-sided ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Add chicken and cook, skin-side down, until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Turn and brown other sides, about 1 minute. Remove from skillet.
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2. Cook aromatics
Pour off all but 3 tablespoons fat from skillet. Add onion, garlic, and peppers; cook over medium-high until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomato paste; cook 30 seconds more.
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3. Sauté rice and add liquid
Stir in rice to coat with fat and toast, about 30 seconds. Add wine mixture; cook until completely evaporated, about 30 seconds. Stir in bay leaves, broth, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.
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Return chicken, skin-side up, to pan. Bring liquid to a full boil. Cover and bake in oven until liquid is absorbed, rice is tender, and chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Add peas; cover and let stand 15 minutes before serving.
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Step up the wow factor with one of these optional ingredients.
For a briny burst with each bite, add 1 cup of any mild, meaty variety, such as Castelvetrano, with the broth in step 3.
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Stir in 1 or 2 chopped anchovy fillets when cooking the vegetables in step 2. The result? An umami note without any fishiness.
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Think of these as intense little nuggets of piquancy. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons with the broth in step 3.