Thursday, May 2, 2013

Quick & Easy Chicken and Rice with a Latin Twist

You can do more with a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket than just heating it up. By combining a few staple food ingredients and a store bought rotisserie chicken you can conjure up a yummy dish any weeknight in about 30 minutes. To give this meal a Latin twist, I took some of my favorite seasonings and flavors from the traditional Nicaraguan Christmas hen, and incorporated into this recipe. This is one of my top 10 "go to" recipes for an easy weeknight meal.

Serves 4
All the meat from one rotisserie chicken, shredded but not too finely
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium carrot, diced-small
3 tablespoons each, pitted green olives and capers
1/8 cup raisins
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Pinch of sugar
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups parboiled rice
3-4 tablespoons canola or olive oil
4 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 tablespoon tumeric
1 teaspoon salt
12 oz (1 1/2 cups) beer
20 oz (2 1/2 cups) chicken stock

In a large deep sided stainless steel pan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over moderate heat and add onions, peppers, garlic and carrot. Stirring frequently to keep garlic from burning, cook for 5 minutes then lower heat add olives, capers, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Raise heat to medium and add wine and chicken, stir gently, and allow to continue cooking until wine has almost evaporated. Remove chicken/ vegetables from pan and set aside. In the same pan add the oil and rice. Gently "fry" the rice over medium low heat until you start to hear it crackle and pop. Add tomato sauce, salt and tumeric, stir into rice, cook for 1 minute. Add beer and stock. Stir and bring to a boil, continue to boil until you see "tunnels" burrowing through the rice to the bottom of the pan. Lower heat to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. To the top of the rice, add the chicken/vegetable mixture, spreading evenly, do not stir. Cover and cook an additional 10 minutes. Take off  the heat let stand for 5 minutes then stir rice to incorporate the chicken and vegetables.

Serve with a salad, crusty bread and a crisp white wine. ENJOY!

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