I make improvised versions of the site's main recipes all the time. Here's how it happens:
Wow I'm getting hungry. Don't want to spend too much time in the kitchen. Don't like the looks of those jalapenos, why didn't I buy jalapenos yesterday? But I have plenty of chipotles. Ooh wings I still have wings? Those tomatoes look decent. Was craving chicken and rice earlier today. Could turn it into a one pot meal and finish emails while it cooks. Something like Arroz con Pollo but with Wings and Chipotles?!
So yes, this version of Arroz con Pollo takes plenty of shortcuts but it still arrives at a delicious home-cooked meal!
I hope it inspires you to add some quick eats to your weeknight meal routine 🙂
How To Make Arroz con Pollo with Wings and Chipotles
First I should mention the shortcuts...
I brine chicken whenever I can, including in the original Arroz con Pollo recipe, but this was a smaller express meal so I skipped it. For bigger batches consider brining your chicken as it will give you a bump in flavor.
I also usually roast the tomatoes to enhance their flavor, but that too went out the window for this meal 🙂
So that means I started this batch by browning 1/2 pound of wings in a glug of oil.
Give each side a few minutes over medium-high heat. That will leave a bit of fat in the pan and that is partly what makes the rice dee-licious.
Set the browned chicken pieces aside and add 1/2 cup uncooked white rice.
Let the rice cook for a couple minutes, stirring regularly.
Meanwhile, add the following ingredients to a blender and combine well:
1-2 plum tomatoes
1 garlic cloves
1-2 chipotles in adobo
Once the rice is starting to turn golden brown you can add the blended tomato mixture to the pan.
Give it a few stirs so it has plenty of contact with the heat.
Then we'll add:
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano What is Mexican oregano?
pinch of cumin (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly cracked black pepper
1 cup stock
Bring this up to a boil, combining well.
At this point I usually take a taste for salt level. I added another generous pinch of salt, but keep in mind this will depend on which stock you're using.
Add the browned chicken pieces, then cover, reduce heat, and let simmer for 20-25 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
I typically use 'low' on my stove for a covered simmer.
Here's how this batch looked after 20 minutes:
Once all the liquid is absorbed I usually remove it from the heat and let it sit for a few minutes, covered.
And then it's time to chow down 🙂
It's one of the easiest meals you'll ever make, but don't let that fool you as it still has loads of flavor!
It's the perfect example of some quick, stress-free home cooking that tastes significantly better than takeout food.
Tough to beat that eh?
Arroz Con Pollo with Wings and Chipotles!
- 4-6 chicken wings (approx. 1/2 lb. worth)
- 1-2 plum tomatoes
- 1/2 cup uncooked white rice
- 1 cup stock
- 1/4 onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1-2 chipotles in adobo (or less for a milder version)
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- pinch of cumin (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- olive oil
- Heat up a glug of oil over medium-high heat in a small saucepan or soup pot. Add the chicken wings and brown each side for a few minutes. Once browned you can set the chicken pieces aside for now.
- Add 1/2 cup uncooked rice to the pan. Give it a good stir and cook over medium heat for a few minutes or until it starts to turn golden brown.
- As the rice cooks add the following ingredients to a blender or food processor: 1-2 plum tomatoes, 1/4 onion, 1 peeled garlic clove, 1-2 chipotles in adobo. Combine well. Notes: be sure to rinse and de-stem the tomato(s), and feel free to use only half of a chipotle for a milder version. I also usually scrape out the seeds of chipotles but this is optional. More info on working with chipotles in adobo.
- Once the rice is starting to turn golden brown you can add the blended tomato-chipotle mixture to the pan. Let it simmer for a couple minutes, stirring regularly. Then add the remaining ingredients: 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano, pinch of cumin (optional), 1/4 teaspoon salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and 1 cup stock. Combine well and bring this mixture up to a boil. I usually take a final taste for salt level at this point -- I added another generous pinch of salt but keep in mind this will depend on which stock you're using.
- Add the browned chicken pieces to the pan, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer ('low' on my stove). Let cook for 20-25 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed.
- Once the liquid is absorbed you can set it aside and let it sit in its own steam for a few minutes, covered. Then it's time to serve it up. Enjoy!
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