Arroz Con Pollo
The bold flavors of saffron, bay leaves, and garlic infuse Valencia rice, a Spanish variety perfect for slow-cooked dishes (it is the traditional base for paella). Here, the grains are cooked up with golden-brown chicken thighs and garnished with pimiento-stuffed olives. Saffron gives the rice its warm yellow hue.
- 1 cup dry white wine
- Pinch of saffron
- 6 chicken thighs (6 ounces each)
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic (2 to 3 cloves)
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 4 1/2 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock, plus more if needed
- 3 cups short-grain rice, preferably Valencia (kalustyans.com)
- 1 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives
Combine wine and saffron; let stand until ready to use. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large braiser or heavy-bottomed, straight-sided saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, skin side down, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip, and cook until golden brown, 2 minutes; transfer to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium, and cook onion and garlic, stirring often, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add tomato, and cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes. Stir in wine-saffron mixture, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and the bay leaves. Cook until wine is almost completely evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes. Add chicken, stock, rice, and olives; bring to a simmer.
Reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, stirring halfway through, until rice is tender, about 45 minutes. (If rice is not done, add more stock, cup at a time.) Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper.