Arroz con Pollo

Serves 10 to 12

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2 cups Blue Ribbon® White Rice
1 1/2 lbs Roma tomatoes, halved
1 garlic clove
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsps vegetable oil
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen peas
3 lbs chicken thighs and legs, bone in
2 Tbsps chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish, if desired

Cooking Directions

1.  Rinse the rice well in a mesh colander, then shake to drain. Let the rice continue draining over the sink while you blend together the cooking liquid.

2.  In a blender, combine the roma tomatoes, garlic, onion, and 1 1/2 cups of water.  Blend till the mixture is smooth. Pour the tomato mixture through another mesh colander or sieve into a large bowl, pushing the solids to extract as much flavored juice as possible.  Reserve the juice and discard the solids.

3.  Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a nonstick pot over medium high heat. Add the rice to the pot. Sauté rice, stirring almost constantly, for 10 to 15 minutes till the grains of rice start to turn golden. Be careful -- when they begin to turn golden, they can easily go to brown/burned if you don't watch them carefully.

4.  Measure reserved tomato liquid into the pot by cupfuls. You will need 6 cups of liquid total. First measure the tomato liquid and pour into the pot (there will be about 3 cups). Once you know how much tomato liquid there is, you can measure out the remaining amount of liquid needed -- in our case, we needed 3 more cups. Add that amount of water to the pot to make 6 cups of liquid total.

5.  Stir in the diced carrots, corn, and peas along with 1 teaspoon of salt.

6.  Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt (skip salting the chicken if you're using kosher meat) and chili powder. You can use up to six pieces of chicken in one pot. We took the skin off of our chicken before cooking to make the dish a bit lighter. You can leave the skin on if you prefer, which will add more flavor to the dish.

7.  Place the chicken pieces on top of the rice and vegetables, covered in the tomato liquid. Bring the mixture to a slow boil.

8.  Reduce heat to a slow, even simmer over medium low heat and cover the pot. Let the mixture simmer for 1 hour until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. Check at 30 minutes to see if the pot looks too dry. Add additional liquid as needed, and additional salt to taste, if desired. We ended up adding another 1 cup of water to the pot after 30 minutes-- the liquid absorbs pretty quickly into the rice. Check the rice again for dryness at 45 minutes. When all of the liquid has absorbed and the rice, vegetables, and chicken are tender, remove from heat.

9.    Serve the chicken over the rice, garnished with chopped cilantro if desired.