Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Cooking of Spain and Portugal: Arroz con Pollo

Another meal from The Cooking of Spain and Portugal. Starting with Arroz con Pollo—Chicken with Saffron Rice and Peas. This is a one-dish meal, simple to make and quite tasty, if not highly spiced.  I served this with salad.

I made some changes to accomodate our kitchen:
  • Used one kilo of chicken thighs rather than cutting up a chicken, since we like thighs. This was a new brand and there were only seven thighs, five biggish ones and two smallish ones. If you used a whole chicken, it would be  best to cut it into eight smaller pieces rather than four big ones.
  • Used olive oil rather than lard.
  • Used 100g lardons instead of 4 ounces of salt pork.

I used lardons nature (rather than fumé) and regular paprika (rather than the hot or smoked kind). I think I might try smoked lardons and paprika when I make this again.

Annoyingly, the stove ran out of gas in the middle of browning the chicken pieces, but that was only a delay not a real problem.

The recipe calls for "1-1/2 cups raw medium or long-grain regular-milled rice or imported short-grain rice". I found that as clear as nothing, and used basmati rice since that's the only long-grain rice I have in-house. What a strange ingredient listing!

Although this is a not spicy dish, like we usually enjoy, it was quite tasty and looked pretty in the pot. The recipe serves four as it says; we will have a second dinner for two.

For dessert there was Natillas—Soft Custard from Portugal. This is a nice custard, made with cinnamon rather than vanilla as the flavoring. It wasn't too sweet, as can happen with American recipes. For the ladyfingers, I had to break into my stash that I save for make tiramisu, so I might have to made a reduced version of that one of these days.

This indeed made six servings, not big (about 3/4 cup each), but just the right amount to top off the meal.

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