Latino Style Chicken and Rice; Avocado-Orange Salsa

By Ira,

The avocado-orange salsa is very refreshing next to the comforting chicken and rice.

Latino Style Chicken and Rice

Serves 4 – Adapted from the Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2008

  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar, separated
  • 6 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped fine
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, separated
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup green manzanilla olives, halved
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1/2 cup jarred roasted red peppers
  • salt and pepper

Note: you can use long grain or medium grain white rice. If you choose medium grain, then decrease the broth by 1/2 a cup.

In a large bowl, mix together the garlic and 1 teaspoon salt with a rubber spatula so it forms a smooth paste.

Add the oregano, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Stir, then add the chicken. Make sure the chicken is coated well, then set it aside for 15 minutes.

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon oil. Then add the onion, bell pepper, and pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Add 2 tablespoons cilantro, mix, then push the vegetables to the sides of the pot to make room for the chicken.

Increase heat to medium-high, then add the chicken skin side down in one layer. Cook without touching it for 2 minutes.

Turn the chicken to the other side and cook for 2 more minutes.

Add the tomato sauce and broth, and stir gently to combine. Let it come to a simmer, cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let it simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F, with the rack in the middle position.

Add the rice, olives, capers, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and stir gently.

Bring it to a simmer again, cover, and place the pot in the oven for 10 minutes.

Remove it and stir the chicken and rice very gently. Put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Stir once more. If the rice is dry add 1/4 cup of water and return it back to the oven for another 10 minutes.

But if the rice is cooked, remove the chicken from the pot, put the lid back on, and set it aside.

Take off the skin of the chicken and discard it. Pull the meat off the bones into large chunks. The easiest way to do this is using 2 spoons so you don’t burn your fingers. After separating the chicken pieces, make sure they don’t have any additional fat or dark veins on them (you can just take those off with your fingers).

Place the chicken pieces in a medium bowl and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons vinegar, 2 tablespoons cilantro, and roasted red peppers.

Place the chicken back on top of the rice, cover again, and let it sit for 5 minutes until it’s warmed through.

Avocado-Orange Salsa

Serves 4 – Adapted from Cooking at Home with America’s Test Kitchen 2006

Even though this is supposed to serve 4, my husband and I ate all of it, so I recommend you double it.

  • 1 large orange, cut into segments, then 1-inch pieces
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced medium
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 teaspoons lime juice (1 or 2 limes)
  • 1 small jalapeno chile, minced (optional)
  • salt

Mix everything together. Taste to adjust the amount of salt required.

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