Gosh, I don’t know what to celebrate first!
I guess I could wear a sombrero to the races or eat quesadillas while placing a bet. Or wear a fabulous floral creation like the ones in one of my previous http://wp.me/pNyWj-2SH, which featured Kentucky Derby hats by Dee, to a Cinco de Mayo celebration.
As it turns out, I’m opting to cook a Cinco de Mayo meal tonight and invited some friends over.
The menu for tonight is Mexican beer ( they all opted out for Magaritas) with chips and salsa and quesadillas.
I’m serving Arroz con pollo et frijoles, steamed asparagus and dessert from a Mexican bakery.
Well I started this post Saturday afternoon, then in the midst of prepping, I had to stop and watch the Derby. I love watching that race! I didn’t have any favorites and apparently the favorite to win, Urban Rags, didn’t even place. It was so exciting to see “I’ll Have Another” come from behind. There really is something thrilling about horse racing.
So onto the meal….
I had never made Arroz con Pollo so I researched a few recipes online and came up with three that I liked or at least part of each so I did what any good cook does, I combined them and created my own. AND I will be the first to admit, that I don’t often do that. If you read this blog regularly then you know that I find a recipe I like, make it and if I post it, I always credit the source.
* This is NOT a photo of my dish. Note there are no black beans! But it is similar and gives you an idea of what it should look like when done.
Arroz con Pollo con Frijoles Negros
2 1/2 -3 lb. chicken; I used skinless boneless thighs
1/2 cup flour for dredging
Salt, ground pepper, paprika and chili powder (optional)
2 cups long grain rice (I used a package of Viga yellow rice)**
1 medium onion chopped
3 -4 garlic cloves minced
1 green bell pepper chopped ( I used an orange pepper)
1 14.5 oz can diced or stewed tomatoes. I used a can of Del Monte petite cut tomatoes with jalapeno – was not too hot.
4 cups chicken broth* The Viga rice called for 4 cups water – substitute broth
black olives (handful – I used what was leftover from making quesadillas
1 cup frozen peas (optional) ( I had a half pkg in the freezer)
** Follow directions for whatever rice you are using and substitute broth for the water.
Heat 3 TBS olive oil in large skillet ( I used a braising pan). Rinse chicken, pat dry and dredge through flour. Season chicken with salt, pepper, paprika and chili powder. Brown the chicken about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.
Add the onions, pepper and garlic to the pan, scraping up brown bits. Cook about 5 minutes till onion and pepper are softened.
Add the rice and cook till rice becomes slightly opaque and browns. Stir a bit, then let it brown and then stir some more. If you use the Viga rice, you won’t see it turn opaque, just lightly browned. Lower heat if rice begins to stick to pan. Add the broth and bring to boil. Lower to simmer, cover pot, cook for about 10 minutes.
Layer the chicken on top of the rice mixture, pour tomatoes over the chicken, add the black beans. Cover pot and cook till chicken and rice are done. About 15 minutes before done, toss in olives and peas.
Recipe by Lori-adapted from Simplyrecipes.com, allrecipes.com, weheartfood.com
One of the best parts of this dish for me was that I made it slightly ahead of time and just before serving , I heated it up. It’s not so often that I actually sit with my dinner guests for drinks and hors d’ouevres and Saturday night I did!
- Celebrate the Weekend with an Affordable Cinco de Mayo and Kentucky Derby (bradsdeals.com)
- Fun And Festive Weekend Looks In Spirit of Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo (stylepoohbahs.com)
- Cinco de May-wow! (cafewitteveen.wordpress.com)