Chef Bren’s homemade sofrito transports us to Cuba with her arroz con pollo recipe.
¼ cup veg oil
1 teaspoon saffron threads plus 3 tablespoons warm water
1 medium spanish onion, diced
½ red bell pepper, diced
5 cloves garlic garlic, pressed
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Black pepper as needed
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound bone in skinless chicken thighs
1 pound skin on chicken drums
2 cups herbed chicken stock
1 teaspoon smoked paprika, optional
1 ½ cups long grain white rice
½ cup beer
½ cup sliced pimento or smoked piquillo peppers, for garnish
½ cups sweet peas, drained for garnish
Add enough oil to coat the bottom of a large saute pan over medium high heat. Sprinkle in the saffron and allow it to infuse into the oil turning a bright yellow color.
Make the sofrito. Add onion, red bell pepper, and garlic and saute until the onion is translucent and the pepper is soft. Season with a little bit of the salt and some pepper.
Continue building flavors by adding in the cumin, oregano, and stir together.
Heat a large dutch oven over medium high heat with oil. Season the chicken thighs and drums with the salt and pepper and gently place them into the hot oil. Make sure to brown the chicken on all sides, approximately 3-4 minutes on each side.
Continue building the arroz con pollo by adding the sofrito to the chicken.
Add the chicken broth and smoked paprika optional and bring up to a simmer. Cook the chicken just a few more minutes until nearly cooked and stir in the rice. Adjust for salt.
Cover and cook the arroz con pollo over medium heat for about 25-30 minutes. Once the rice is done let sit for about 5 minutes. Evenly pour in beer for additional flavor.
Garnish the arroz con pollo with pimento or smoked piquillo peppers and sweet peas.