Welcome to The Tribe.
Your Humble Ruler, Rajah Cheech Beldone, King of the Gypsies.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Arroz con Pollo from Wellcome

OK, the last thing I want is to make this deal a bunch of fuckin recipes, let alone one of those fuckin jerkfests where I invite you all to pat me on the fuckin back because I make my own fuckin toothpaste or whatever.
This is here for a couple of reasons.
First of all, obviously, it's just so GD good.
2. I don't think there's really any merit in discussing shit that you cooked or made if you spent a gazillion bucks on imported ingredients, I can go blow dough at an overpriced restaurant for that. Similarly, if your project is only possible because you, a Car Fuck, drove the fuck and gone out to Butthole County to get some rare item, forget about it.
This includes Costco.

Now, as any Caribbean or Central American will tell you, this is like their version of something like pork chops with Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup, or corned beef and cabbage, if you grew up in Ireland (just kidding, buddy).
However, like many of these things, it's considerably different between locales.
And, as well, practically every household has their own special version that everyone who grew up with it will SWEAR is better than anyone else's.

Whatever, I like to make it for Saturday night dinner because, not only is it King Fuck Good Eating, it's radically different from most all the crap you've been eating all week.
Adhering to The Chief's Project Rules, all the ingredients were purchased within walking distance of my house, at Wellcome or equivalent local supermarket, or the daytime market.
(The only exception might be the Bibol [you gotta mail order it or have it brought in] or turmeric, which I think I got at Jason's. Muji carries a kind of Bibol powder, but you have to know what you're looking for.)
I ripped off most of this recipe from 3 Guys From Miami, which is a wonderfully enjoyable site if you're at all into the whole Cuban/Cubano experience (and if you aren't, stop being a fucking idiot).
I've altered it somewhat to accommodate local ingredient availability and/or the tastes of my family, for whom  I'm cooking, but I don't think it's wandered too far off the path.
Please note the absence of any appreciable heat. This is intentional,  in keeping with the axiom that traditional Cuban cuisine is spiced, not spicy.

Oh, it's not recommended to use saffron rather than Bibol or turmeric, it's not really authentic.

Did I mention it's fucking awesomely delicious??

Also, it's not too tough to make, really. It takes a bit of time, but you won't be standing over the stove for hours.
Anyways, here we go.

Cuban Arroz con Pollo

4 strips of bacon
6 whole chicken legs, cut into drumstick and thigh, bone in, skin on
Salt, pepper, and cumin for chicken
Olive oil for frying
1 large onion, chopped
4-5 cachucha peppers (or 1 large green pepper), chopped (optional, I leave these out because my girls hate bell peppers)
4 cloves garlic mashed
1 regular can of Guiness (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 can chicken broth (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 can coconut milk (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 small jar tomato sauce (cheap generic spaghetti sauce works)
1/2 teaspoon Bijol Powder or turmeric
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 1/2 cups of uncooked rice
5-10 cherry or small Roma tomatoes, sliced (optional)*
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables (optional)

Put on some Perez Prado or Desi Arnaz. Buena Vista Social Club will do in a pinch.
Sauté the bacon in a large frying pan. Reduce heat to low and let the fat render out of the bacon -- about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, season the chicken lightly with salt, pepper and a little cumin. Once the fat is released, remove the bacon, increase temperature to medium-high and add the chicken to the hot bacon fat. Remove the chicken when it is browned on both sides.
Add a little olive oil to the same pan you fried the chicken in, and sauté the onion and green pepper until the onion is translucent. Add the mashed garlic and cook an additional minute or two, stirring frequently.
Take the chicken broth, coconut milk, and beer and pour into a large covered pot (Uh, uncover it first, or you'll have a big fuckin mess). Add the browned chicken pieces, cooked onions and green pepper, tomato sauce, Bijol/turmeric, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, cumin, salt, and pepper. And hey, why let all that delicious bacon go to waste? Chop it up and toss it in! Bring everything to a rolling boil, reduce heat, cover and cook on low for 15 minutes.
Go and have a Cuba Libre.
Add the rice. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. When the rice has absorbed some of the liquid, cover and simmer on low for about 30-45 minutes, or until the rice is fully cooked and not soupy. Stir every 10 minutes or so to avoid sticking.
Go and have a Mojito or two.
Just when the rice is a good consistency, remove the chicken pieces (see below) and add the tomatoes and frozen veg, stirring them in and cooking for another five minutes.

Now, there's a few serving options, I like to serve the whole chicken pieces on the side, it just presents nicer at the table. However, for a party or if you just like it better, you may remove the chicken, skin, de-bone and break it into bite-size chunks. A third option is just to remove the bones and mix the chicken into the rice. If everything's gone right, a good portion of the chicken will drop off and stay in the rice anyways.
However, DO NOT try to substitute any boneless, skinless chicken in this recipe, I wouldn't even recommend white meat, it just isn't the same.

So there you go.

I like to eat this nice and hot with a great big honking Coke with lots of ice.

*Oh yeah, one time I had a can of RoTel kicking around, so I threw that in, it was splendid.


Hey, thanks for the fuckin feedback.
Readers' opinions and feelings are fucking important to me.
No, I'm fucking serious.