For this month's Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned the fabulous blog, Kitchen Trial and Error! It's written by the lovely Kate, who lives in Rochester, NY with her family. She's a busy lady but still cooks all kinds of great looking recipes. I had a very difficult time choosing one this month and seriously had about 20 set aside to pick from. Tempting recipes included Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting, Tomato & Meatball Soup, Apple Chicken Chili, and Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken. Her recipe for baked ziti looks fantastic as well, but it's basically the same as my recipe since it's from the same source!The recipe I ended up going with was Arroz con Pollo. I've always wanted to try this dish and for whatever reason, it's the one my mind kept migrating back to. My minor changes were to use bacon grease instead of olive oil (I followed the recipe back to its source on another blog and it said to use bacon), my bell pepper was a different color, I used a full 4 C of chicken broth, and I only simmered the rice for 20 minutes since that's how long my rice usually takes to cook and I didn't want it to get mushy. Next time I would wait to add the chicken back to the pan until I add the rice to prevent it from being overcooked, but that's the only change.
Update: I have tinkered with the recipe a bit more over subsequent times making it and have updated the recipe to match how I make it now. We really enjoy it.
Arroz con Pollo
2 Tbsp bacon grease
3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cleaned and cut in half
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz beer
4 C chicken broth
8 oz tomato sauce
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to sprinkle on chicken
1/4 tsp pepper, plus more to sprinkle on chicken
2 tsp cumin, plus more to sprinkle on chicken
2 tsp dried oregano (I used Mexican oregano)
3 1/2 C white rice
1 C frozen peas
In a dutch oven, melt bacon grease over medium high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, and cumin, then brown on both sides in bacon grease. Remove to a plate. Add onion and bell pepper to dutch oven and saute until they turn translucent, then add garlic and saute another minute or so until it turns golden. Stir in beer, chicken broth, tomato sauce, bay leaf, oregano, salt, and cumin. Simmer on low for 10 minutes, then stir in rice. Top with reserved chicken. Bring to a boil, cover the dutch oven, and reduce the heat to low. Let cook without lifting the lid for 20 minutes, then remove the dutch oven from the heat and stir in the peas. Replace the lid and let it sit for a minute so the peas can thaw.
Yield: 12 servings