Comfort food has been in the top most part of my mind lately, even if I’m trying to eat healthy. So many different cultures have their ideas of what comfort food is to them that I wanted to explore it a bit.
I’ve been very interested in the Latin American culture for as long as I can remember, and since my freshman year in college when I went to San Antonio, TX I got to experience it first hand. And that definitely included the food! Now with having all my sorority sisters, friends and even my sister & brother-in-law (with soon to be niece!) living down there I wanted to share one of their comfort foods.
What is your favorite comfort food?
I found this recipe on Eat, Live, Run where the blogger Jenna is a trained chef who grew up in South Florida. Click the link for better details on how to cook this amazing dish she has because she goes into great details for any questions you might have.
Arroz con Pollo
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (about one orange)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp canola oil
for chicken and rice—
1 whole 4 – 4 1/2 lb chicken
1 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil, divided
2 pints cherry tomatoes
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 cups diced yellow onions (about 1 1/2 small onions or 1 large onion)
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup pimento stuffed green olives, roughly chopped
1/2 cup green peas
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp saffron, crushed
1 bay leaf
1.5 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups white rice, uncooked
3 cups chicken broth
hot sauce for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spread the cherry tomatoes out on a lined baking sheet and drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil. Roast tomatoes for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally until slightly charred and bursting. Remove from oven and set aside.
Cut up your chicken into six parts (I don’t like to include the wings but you can if you want!). You should end up with two large breasts, two thighs and two legs. Place chicken parts in a large shallow dish.
Mix together the marinade ingredients and pour over chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for an hour in the fridge.
After an hour, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over high heat in a heavy 5 1/2-quart ovenproof pot (here’s the one I have). Once the oil is hot, add half of the chicken pieces and brown on both sides—this should take about six minutes—you just want to brown the chicken here, not actually cook it through. After that half of chicken is done, remove and set on a plate then brown the remaining pieces of chicken.
After all your chicken is done and on a plate, add the onions, diced green pepper and garlic to the hot oil. Saute veggies for about five minutes.
Add cumin, paprika, salt, pepper and crushed saffron to the veggies and mix well. Add roasted cherry tomatoes and diced tomatoes and mix. Add bay leaf.
Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Then and add the rice, stirring well to combine.
Lay the chicken pieces in the pot, cover tightly with a lid and place in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. After baking, rice should have absorbed most of the liquid and be fluffy. The chicken pieces should be completely done.
When the arroz con pollo is done, stir in the peas and chopped olives and serve with lots of hot sauce on the side!
**don’t forget to remove the bay leaf before eating!
2 hours (includes time to marinate chicken)