Arroz con Pollo
Arroz con pollo is to Hispanics what meatloaf and mashed potatoes is to Americans. It is the ultimate comfort food. What’s great about arroz con pollo is that it is healthy too. I think I can state with certainty that arroz con pollo is Latin America’s most popular dish. It is mine, for sure.
Every country in Latin America has its own special way of preparing arroz con pollo. This little fact I have learned from talking to various Spanish speaking friends. For example in Colombia, red and green pepper is used as well as diced green beans. Hondurans like to add celery to their arroz con pollo; and in Mexico they like to use corn. And then there is the Cuban way, the Puerto Rican way. You are getting the picture, right? Furthermore, it seems that every house has its own personal recipe. That’s right!! That being said, I am sharing with you the recipe I grew up with, of course with a couple of personalized twists. For starters, I use my homemade recaito (1 cube per cup of rice. Remember I freeze the recaito into ice cubes). I also use less peas than the version I grew up with, namely because I am not a great fan of peas. I can tolerate them, but only in small dosages. So I use just enough to give my arroz con pollo a punch of green. So, when friends have asked “What is the traditional way to make arroz con pollo in Panama (where I grew up)”? I always start with “Well, you see… it varies.”
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