Tomorrow I leave for Boca for a few days. The main purpose is to go to the kick-off for my friend Debbie's new non-profit foundation to help kids transitioning out of foster care, Best Foot Forward. Debbie is one of the most amazing people I know...but that is for another blog. The other purpose is to see Stacy, Andrea, my sister, CJ and whatever other friends I can fit in!
I thought, to get ready for my adventure in South Florida, I would make Arroz con Pollo (literally, chicken with rice, but sounds so much grander!) with the recipe given to me by my Cuban friend Sonia. This recipe:
- is ridiculously easy;
- pretty cheap (especially since I got the chicken for only $1.39 a pound at Lowes-Food-to-Go...my favorite place to NOT shop!);
- takes less time to prepare than to gather the ingredients;
- appeals to grownups and kids alike; and
- a meal unto itself, unless you want to serve it with a salad or something.
This is how easy...instructions with pictures!!! First the ingredients:
2 c. rice (valencia) and Bijol; or 1 pkg. yellow rice (I use Vigo)
4 c. water
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I've done it with bone-in and it's fine)
1 small jar pimientos
1 onion, diced
1 can peas
2 bay leaves
Adobo, garlic powder, salt & pepper to taste
As you can see from the picture, I need bay leaves. Used the last two for tonight's dinner. By the way, I LOVE the Tupperware Spice Rack and Containers. Not only do they keep the spices fresher longer, but they allow me to use my P-Touch labeler...I LOVE to label things! I don't add Adobo seasoning to mine because the seasoning in the yellow rice package is enough.
And I get to use one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. It's my chopper. I've had a few of them over the years. I think I had the Pampered Chef or Williams Sonoma one. This one happens to be Cuisinart. I'm pretty sure I got it cheap on the internet. Love how it chops onions. Fewer tears. And you don't have to put a piece of onion on your head to keep from crying. I swear, someone told me this old wives' tale, but I've never tried it.
The onion chopping is probably the most onerous thing about this recipe. Next dump (yes, dump) all of the ingredients in a pressure cooker.
How amazing is that? No boiling then adding, then checking, then adding some more, etc.
Put the cover on the pressure cooker, being sure to secure it and have it set to pressure (not to release). Put it over a high flame until it's at full pressure.
When Sonia told me this recipe, she said, "Do that until it goes chooka-chooka-chooka." She has her Mom's old pressure cooker from the 50s. The new ones have a little button that pops up to tell you it's at full pressure.
Turn the heat down to practically nothing and let sit for about 40 minutes. Then release the steam. When the steam has all released, you can safely open the pressure cooker and look in awe at your fabulous dinner. (Yes, I do mean safely...we've all seen that episode of I Love Lucy.)
Here is the finished product. And did I say something about kids loving it? Well, I made it for just me and Rory and as I was about to serve it, he said he was going to have cereal and that he has never liked Arroz con Pollo. Oh well...I had a nice dinner!