Monday, April 18, 2016

Arroz con Pollo (Weight Watcher friendly version)

One dish dinners seldom disappoint. Spanish-style chicken and rice is no exception, but the calorie count can be daunting. When I found a recipe for arroz con pollo on Skinnytaste, I decided to give it a try. Here is my version--just a few changes made it more to our taste.

Serves 8 (1 thigh with 1 cup of rice) 11 SP
  • 8 skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 pkg Sazon
  • 1/2 tsp Adobo (without pepper is my preference)
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 5 scallions
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups long grain rice
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • salt to taste (about 2 tsp)
Season the chicken thighs with vinegar, Sazon, Adobo, and garlic powder and let it sit 10 minutes. Heat a large deep heavy skillet or a Dutch oven on medium and add 2 tsp oil when hot. Add chicken and brown 5 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside.

Place onion, cilantro, garlic, scallions and pepper in the bowl of a food processo and pulse 4-5 times. Add remaining teaspoon of olive oil to the skillet and sauté onion mixture on medium-low until soft, about 3 minutes. Add rice, mix well and cook another minute. Add broth and bouillon (be sure it dissolves well), scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add salt to taste.
Add chicken and nestle into rice, bring to a boil. Simmer on medium-low until most of the water evaporates and you see the liquid bubbling at the top of the rice line, then reduce heat to low heat and cover. Make sure the lid has a good seal, no steam should escape.
Cook 20 minutes without opening the lid. Shut heat off and let it sit with the lid on an additional 10 minutes. Fluff rice and serve.
I couldn't wait for the rice to cook, this smelled so wonderful. The rice is very flavorful, but not overpowering. The combination of Sazon, Adobo, cilantro, onion, and garlic along with the flavor of the very moist chicken did its magic. That little bit of vinegar that you use to flavor the chicken adds just the right amount of acidity. I would serve this dish to company with no apologies for how it's been lightened.

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