Chicken and Brown Rice | Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Allergy Friendly

by - 10 March

A meal that you can eat for, breakfast, lunch and dinner? For me, this is definitely one of those "anytime" foods! It takes a while to prepare, but I guarantee.. it's worth it! Rice and chicken are spectacular filler foods, and wonderful for those gluten free families who are looking for leftovers in the refrigerator to run to for a quick heat me up snack! 

Aroz Con Pollo
Chicken and Brown Rice

1 pkg. Boneless skinless chicken breasts, around 4, or chicken thighs, around 6-8
5-6 cups *Chicken or Turkey stock (home made or from bouillon)
8 oz. Can Tomato Sauce (For Stock)
1 Onion quartered and 2 cloves garlic (for stock)
Red Pepper Flakes (for stock)
Black Pepper (for stock)
2 Cups long grain Brown Rice, cleaned and dried
Olive Oil
Saffron packet or a pinch of Saffron threads
Kosher Salt to taste
Fresh Black Pepper to taste
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Finely chopped Onions
2 Finely chopped Cloves of Garlic 
2 Large Tomatoes, seeded and then diced
3 Green Onions (Scallions) finely sliced
1/4 Cup Capers
1/2 Cup Kalamata Olives
1/2 Cup Raisins
1 Cup Italian Parsley, roughly chopped

*If you have homemade Turkey or Chicken Stock in the freezer from holiday cooking this would be a great time to use it. The more flavorful your stock the better tasting your rice will be! 
Add to 6 cups stock, 1 can tomato sauce, 1onion quartered and 2 cloves of garlic, and a pinch of red pepper flakes and 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper. Let come to a boil. This should keep hot throughout your rice preparation.

Add cleaned chicken to stock and cook.
Simmer on medium low until chicken is cooked. Remove chicken, when cool to the touch and shred the chicken.. Set aside. Keep stock on simmer.

Vegetable and Rice Preparation:
Heat a very large sauté pan on medium low heat, add a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 2 teaspoons of butter. When butter is sizzling, add the onions, garlic and tomatoes. Keep the heat to medium low not to scotch the aromatics. Cook until onion and garlic are translucent and tomato is soft. Add capers, raisins, olives and green onions. Cook for a few minutes and then remove vegetables to a bowl. Set aside. 

In same large sauté pan on medium low heat, add 3-4 tablespoons olive oil and 2 teaspoons butter. When it is nice and hot add your brown rice. Cook brown rice till it is coated and golden all over. Stirring not to burn. Add saffron threads. When combined, add chicken. Stir well. Add the 'set aside' vegetables. (onions, garlic, tomatoes, capers…)
Mix well to coat all ingredients. Do not over stir. Do a taste test of the liquids, at this point you can add some seasonings, i.e., black and cayenne pepper.. very little salt. As your rice cooks and the lipids evaporate, the flavors will inhance.

This is the part where it is cooked similar to risotto but, very important, *it is NOT stirred*.
Add enough stock to cover rice, chicken and vegetables. Lower temperature to keep a consistent simmer. Let stock liquid dissipate before adding more broth. Continue this step until rice is cooked. DO NOT STIR or you will have mushy rice. *using brown rice you will need approximately 5-7 cups liquid give or take a bit. Also, brown rice takes much longer to cook than white rice. Continue tasting the rice for doneness. It will NOT be the same consistency of risotto, the texture should be moist but dry and cooked through rice kernels. 

Happy cooking and Buon Appetito!! 

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