My version of arroz con pollo would more accurately be called “Arroz con Garbanzo,” but it’s converted from the original so I’m sticking with that. I’ve always been a little wary of dishes that cook the rice in the pan or in the CrockPot or whatever cooking utensils you’re using. I can make Mexican rice just fine, but somehow the series of ingredients with other one-pot rice meals always makes me screw up royally. I either end up with crunchy rice and over-cooked veggies or a big pot o’ mush. But this one seemed like it would be so tasty that I was tempted. Plus, it’s so simple to convert! I used chickpeas as my “chicken” and left off the cheese entirely (though dairy-free cheese on top would be great, too, I’m sure).
Arroz con Pollo
Adapted from Arroz con Pollo. Serves 4-8 (4 entrees, 8 sides)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 cup chickpeas (OR 4 ounces seitan, cubed)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup sofrito (OR 1/2 onion, chopped and 1/2 bell pepper, chopped)
4 ounces green chiles, diced
1/2 can (7 ounces) diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup rice, dry
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup cheese, shredded (optional)
cilantro, fresh chopped (optional)
Meanwhile, mix cumin, coriander, and turmeric in a small bowl. Add 1/2 tablespoon of that mix to your chickpeas and stir to coat. Set aside the remaining mix for later use.
Add seasoned chickpeas to the pan. Add in sofrito (or onion and bell pepper) and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add chiles and tomatoes and stir.
Add broth and rice. Add remaining cumin-coriander-turmeric mix. Add chile powder, salt and onion powder and stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, uncovered, or until rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Add cheese if desired and cover. Cook for 1 to 2 more minutes to allow the cheese to melt.
Hallelujah! I did it. The rice is perfect and the veggies are delicious. And I absolutely love the bright colors in this dish. I often leave the turmeric out of recipes, but it really does make pretty fantastic-looking rice. This is incredibly tasty and I think the chickpeas are perfect as the protein in this dish. They really hold their own among all the rice and veggies in a way that I don’t think other “meats” or even “real” meats would. Yum. The husband and kids dug this stuff, too. I’ll admit it, selfishly, I kinda wish they hadn’t.
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