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. A short-grain rice such as Bomba, from Spain, absorbs the liquid without becoming mushy. Threads of saffron turn it a vibrant red-orange and impart fragrance and flavor.
MAKE IT INDIAN Replace the peppers with 1/4 cup minced ginger. Just before the tomato paste, add 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, and 3 cardamom pods; cook 30 seconds.
TRY CHINESE Omit the saffron and wine. Replace the onion with 8 thinly sliced scallions, and the peppers with 1/4 cup minced ginger and 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh shiitake-mushroom caps. Skip the tomato paste. Replace the peas with blanched broccolini.