Sunday, July 25, 2010

Arroz con Pollo

Arroz con Pollo is a family tradition. Not in my Flores family, but in your family, I mean. It is one of those recipes that has its own special touch and secret ingredients that make families beam with pride.

"Mi tia Bivi makes the best arroz con pollo in the world", I remember my husband telling me when we were only dating. Great. Best in the world.

Arroz con Pollo happened to have been another one of my least favorite foods growing up. My mom and grandmothers would make it, but I'd turn my nose up at it.

So when the book opened to Arroz con Pollo on a day I literally just closed my eyes and let the book pick what I needed to make, I can tell you I was less than thrilled.

I like it okay now, and Bivi's really is the best, with my mom's coming in right up there, but meh, I don't die over it.

Aside from the dish, you have so many family innuendoes to figure out.

A la chorrera (runny) or seco (dry)? I prefer in between.

Beer or wine? Tried Pinot Grigio because it was what I had an open bottle of in the fridge. Meh, not enough salt. Will do a beer and wine mix next time.

Azafrán (saffron) bloomed or dry? ¿Que?

When I made this recipe, I pinched some saffron and threw it into the pot, thinking the saffron would melt away into the liquid. Instead, I ended up having saffron flakes (or shreds) in parts of the dish. Double meh.

Since everything happens for a reason, I happened to have come upon Chef Norman Van Aken at a recent March of Dimes event. I know he is Mr. Caribbean, Cuban, Miami chef of all things so I asked him about my little bits of shipwrecked saffron.

"Easy fix", he said. I did a little dance in my head.

Let the saffron bloom in some hot water or stock. That way, the shreds will melt away and form a concentrated liquid of azafrán that you can then introduce to the dish.

Dude, that's why I like asking my random questions. He has no idea who I am but he gave me (and those of us suffering from saffron pieced dishes) such a gift.

Thanks, Chef NvA - our secret family weapons have now been enhanced.



  1. I make the best arroz con pollo lol. "a la Chorrera" lol.

  2. I love arroz con pollo. I still don't know how to cook it the best. I want to make it better. I cheat though, I've never used azafran yet! I need to use it!!

  3. Beer! One for the arroz con pollo and one for the cook!!!!

    Wet...a la chorerra!

    Your dish looks awesome, C!

    Carrie @ Tiki Tiki!