Food Porn: Arroz Con Pollo

In my recent attempt to overhaul my diet to eat healthier, I’ve had to deep six a lot of the foods I love dearly, or find healthier versions of them. Arroz con Pollo is one such dish – my original favorite recipe had 1/2 cup of oil in it. So I scoured the Cooking Light site until I found a recipe that had a similar vibe. We modified the Cooking Light recipe (shown below in its original form) by adding 2 cups of onions, 3/4 cup of diced green peppers, and 2 tbsp. of Anaheim chiles. Also, instead of using olive oil, we used 2 tsbp. of Enova. We also used arborio rice instead of Valencia because we couldn’t find Valencia locally. It came out tasting great, and had a real risotto vibe to it.

Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken with Rice)

1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. Bijol seasoning (we used Goya Sazon instead – since Bijol is annato, and Sazon is primarily annato)
6 chicken drumsticks (about 1 1/2 lbs), skinned
6 chicken thighs (about 2 lbs), skinned
4 garlic cloves, minced

2 c. uncooked Valencia rice or other short-grain rice
2 tsp olive oil, divided
2 1/2 c. fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
3 tbsp. commercial Sofrito (such as Goya)
1/2 tsp. Bijol seasoning
1/2 tsp. saffron threads (optional)
1/2 c. frozen petite green peas, thawed
1 (7-ounce) jar sliced pimento, drained (we left this out)

To prepare the chicken, combine first 7 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal and marinate in the refrigerator 1 hour, turning bag occasionally. Remove the chicken from the bag, reserving the marinade.

To prepare the rice, place rice in a colander in a large bowl, and rinse with cold water until the water runs clear. Drain rice well.

Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the drumsticks, and cook 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with 1 tsp. oil and thighs. Remove from pan; keep warm.

Add reserved marinade, rice, chicken broth, sofrito, Bijol, and saffron threads (if desired) to pan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes. Stir in peas and pimento; let stand, covered, 10 minutes.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2 chicken pieces and about 2/3 cup rice mixture)
472 cal, 8.7 g fat, 37.1 g pro, 122 mg chol, 32 mg calc, 773 mg sod, 3.1 mg fiber, 5.2 mg iron, 57.8 g carb, 10 WW points