July 20, 2009

Arroz con Pollo Recipe

I know there are many recipes out there for Arroz con Pollo (Rice with Chicken), it does happen to be a very popular dish. I love it. Just two years ago I was given the wonderful gift of Dream Dinners after our son was born. It was a miracle, a life-saver, and I don't think I've ever fully thanked our friends enough for the wonderful gift. One of those meals was Arroz con Pollo, and since then I have craved it, dreamed of it, and even tried my own hand at it: Mexican Cheesy Chicken and Rice Recipe. While that was yummy (alright, I confess, I love it too), this recipe is to die for!

I finally got the Dream Dinners Recipe book from our library. I've heard so many mixed reviews on it that I couldn't bring myself to buy it. First I learned that most of their recipes are not their popular make-and-take dishes. Then I read how many mistakes that book has (and saw for myself the corrections list on their site) and to top it off no pictures?! I figured free library use versus purchasing it was a brilliant option. That and I do need some freezer dinners now that our second son is on the way. (10 more weeks, but who's counting?) Now, after
discovering the fact that one of my favorite all time recipes is in the book - I will sing it's praises. Alright, I'll let you know how I like the other recipes.

Can I tell you one last thing before I share this recipe? Good: It's dairy free if you omit the cheese topping. And it is just as easily gluten free if you purchase the right products, which for this recipe isn't hard.

OK so, without further ado:

Arroz con Pollo

1 cup uncooked rice (This annoyed me: the instructions tell you to cook the rice, if you have any left-over rice you'll need about 3 cups cooked rice)

1 cup black beans, drained
1 cup frozen corn (or canned corn, drained)
6 (4oz each) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

½ cup chicken broth
1 cup salsa
1 cup marinara sauce
½ cup red bell pepper, sliced
½ cup scallions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp minced garlic
1 cup shredded cheese

Spray 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Prepare the rice according to package directions. Spread the rice over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Layer the beans, corn, and chicken over the rice and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Set aside. In a large bowl combine the rest of the ingredients minus the cheese. Pour the mixture over the chicken. Sprinkle with cheese.

Serves 6 (So I'm going to make one recipe and freeze half for my little family)

For dinner tonight... Preheat the oven to 350 F (175C). Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the internal temperature of the chicken breasts reaches 165F.

If you want to freeze it for later... Before baking, cover the dish with foil. Label, date, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before cooking as directed above. (A good idea is to double the recipe, or half it depending on portion size needs and cook one for dinner while freezing the other.)

Tomorrow the left-overs are going to be cut up, warmed up and wrapped inside a soft tortilla with avocado, sour cream, cheddar cheese and a squirt of lime. Oh so divine!