I’ve found the best time to trick my husband into giving me massages is when he’s on his computer. At first read, this may not make sense to you. However, it works. If he’s on his laptop, all I have to do is scurry over and tell him to rub my shoulder while he’s perusing whatever computer nerd stuff he reads. This way, he’s so engrossed in the newest Android phone specs that by the time he realizes he’s rubbing my shoulders, 10 minutes have already passed. Genius, my friends. Genius.
Work shouldn’t feel like work. It should pass by as quickly as those 10-minute computer-shoulder rubs.
At first, this recipe might seem like a lot of work. Marinate the chicken for how many hours? Dice up how many vegetables? The best part is, though, once you start chopping, then simmering, then cooking, you get caught up in the fragrant wafts and you forget how much time has passed since you started cooking. (Unless, of course, you’re cooking a meal for guests that needs to be ready by 5:00 p.m., and you’re watching the clock more seriously than you ever supervised your baby brother 5 years ago.)
This is a classic Puerto Rican dish. It’s glorified chicken and rice. Very delicious. Not spicy.
Marinate your chicken overnight or a few hours before cooking. (Don’t you just love pictures of raw chicken? BLECHlaksdjflakjYUM!)
Dice your fresh veggies.
Start to brown your chicken with your ham.
Toss in your chopped veggies.
Stir in your rice, then add the water.
Cook until the water cooks out and the rice is dry. Remove chicken and keep cooking.
Cook until rice is soft. Add peas and chicken back in to warm before serving.
Arroz con Pollo (Caribbean Rice with Chicken)
Makes 8 servings
2 1/2 pounds chicken pieces (Legs, thighs, breasts, etc. I only used breasts because dark meat freaks me out, however, I recommend using lots of different chicken parts if you don’t have an aversion to dark meat like me.)
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 tablespoon oil
3 ounces diced ham
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
2 sweet chili peppers, seeded and chopped
1 tomato, chopped
half bunch cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup tomato sauce
3 cups rice
1 can green peas
The night before cooking, wash chicken and divide each chicken piece in two. Combine peppercorns, garlic, oregano, salt, oil, and vinegar. Dry chicken and rub with seasoning. Set chicken in refrigerator until ready to cook.
In a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat, heat oil with ham pieces. Add chicken pieces and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and add chopped vegetables. Sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, drain liquid from can of peas into a measuring cup. Add enough water to measure 3 1/2 cups liquid. Heat liquid and set aside.
Add tomato sauce and rice to the pot. Stir for 2 minutes until well mixed. Add water, mix well, and cook, uncovered, over medium heat until the rice has absorbed the liquid, about 30 minutes.
Remove chicken from the pot and set aside. Turn the rice from bottom to top. Cover pot and cook on low for 20 minutes. Turn rice over, then re-cover pot and cook for another 20 minutes.
Add peas and chicken back to pot and heat on low for a few minutes until warm. Serve immediately.
Adapted and simplified from Puerto Rican Cookery