As far as I can recall, because you know memory can be tricky sometimes, this is the very first actual recipe I cooked on my own, when I was around 10 years old. I say actual, because far before then I used to “cook” cube stock with soup noodles, as you can see I’ve been obsessed with soup from a very early age.
My grandma Ajó (from my father’s side) was the one who taught me this clearly paella-inspired recipe that was one of her star dishes, along with empanadas, that everybody loved. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to successfully reproduced her empanadas but luckily I came much closer to her arroz con pollo.
Both my grannies were the ones who introduced me to cooking, check out the first recipe in the grannies series here, which is also another legendary family dish from my other grandma, Dina. They were both great cooks, each one with their own signature style, but a common ground: they mastered a few good recipes, nothing fancy or exotic, that they repeated over the years with always the same steady and delicious result! I’ve always admired that, because my outcomes in the kitchen are much more variable. I guess it has to do with the global approach and large flow of information we have nowadays that make us keep trying different things all the time. I am happy to be able to enjoy both the traditional and the innovative approaches in my kitchen…
Arroz con pollo is a quite common dish in Argentina, where I come from, that has most probably been adapted from our Spanish heritage. The cooking principles are the same as the paella ones, with easily available local ingredients. The yellow colour comes from the saffron, which being such an expensive ingredient back in the day, was usually mixed with some sort food colouring, such as turmeric, but sold under the generic name of “saffron”.
Shall we cook now?
By the way, how do you like this year’s header, aren’t you craving soup now? yummy!
Arroz Amarillo con Pollo - Chicken Yellow Rice
- 500 g chicken pieces of choice
- salt to taste
- a dash of olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, pressed
- 1/4 green + 1/4 red pepper, finally chopped
- 200 g long grain rice
- 1 litre warm chicken stock (kept warm in the stove until its use)
- 1 tsp. pimentón dulce or sweet paprika
- a pinch of saffron
- salt and pepper to taste
- Season the chicken pieces with salt, heat the oil in a cooking pot, and brown the chicken over medium heat. Remove from the pot and set aside.
- In the same oil, sauté the onion, garlic and pepper until soft.
- Add the rice and stir fry a couple of minutes continuously mixing with a wooden spoon.
- Add the chicken, pour the stock, season with pimentón (or paprika), saffron, pepper and check out the salt. Stir to mix.
- Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer partially covered from around 20 minutes, till the rice is cooked al dente. Turn off the heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes on the stove.
- Serve and enjoy! (Some “profane” add grated cheese to it, personally, I don’t like it, but just letting you know…)