Friday, February 15, 2013

Imperial Rice – Arroz Imperial

This is great recipe with chicken and rice dish with a unique infusion of cheese and a gooey melted cheese on top.

Serving size: 6


2 pound chicken thigs (skinned)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 strips bacon, cut into slivers
1 cupswhite onion, finelly chopped
1 ½ cups green pepper cored (seeded and chopped)
2 green onions (trimmed and chopped)
1 little teaspoon oregano
3 large minced cloves garlic
2 ounces tomato sauce
1 little tablespoon dry sherry
¼ cup frozen green peas
1 lime (juice only)


Wash chicken and place in eight-quart stock pot. Add approximately five cups of water to fully cover meat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, until the meat is tender and falls from bone – approximately 45 to 60 minutes. Remove chicken and keep the broth. Skim excess fat from broth!
When completely cooled, skin and break the chicken into small pieces by hand.

Sauté the bacon briefly in a large sauté pan. Drain most (but not all) of the excess fat. You can blot it up with a paper towel. Add a tiny bit of olive oil and heat. Add onion, green pepper, oregano, and green onions. Sauté until the onions are translucent.
Add the garlic and sauté for one additional minute, stirring occasionally.
Add tomato sauce, chicken, and sherry. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer approximately 10-15 minutes to thicken the sauce. Add peas and lime juice during the last five minutes of cooking.
Salt and pepper to taste. Taste it. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 160 C (325 F).

Mix the rice with the chicken broth in a large covered three-quart sauce pan; add Bijol powder for color – if you can't get this locally, use a little achiote. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is thoroughly cooked and most of the broth absorbed.
Add the mayonnaise to the cooked rice (a little at a time) and mix thoroughly. Take one third of the rice and cover the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan. Layer chicken mixture on top of the rice. Then add a layer of the mayonnaise/rice mixture.
Generously sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top of this layer. Add the remaining rice. Again, sprinkle Parmesan cheese on the top layer. Spread grated Monterey Jack or other mild white cheese completely over top.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until cheese melts completely and bubbles, browning slightly.
Enjoy your meal!

Preparing time: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 95 minutes

Ready in: 130 minutes (2 hours 10 minutes)

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