When my oldest kiddo was just a small fry, he fell in love with this entrée from a local Mexican restaurant. In order to keep from having to visit this restaurant weekly and to keep from going broke (that place was expensive!), I worked on recreating that beloved dish at home. I even managed to lighten it up. The absolute best thing about this dish, well other than the fact my kids adore it, is that makes a ton. You can easily double the recipe and it saves beautifully.
This meal makes for an excellent post workout meal. Think of your standard post workout chicken and rice just amplified in the taste department. I am in the camp that you do not have to be slamming a chalky protein drink as you walk out of the gym. You can sit down and chew a real meal, as long as you eat with in 2 hours of working out and it contains a good source of carbs and protein.
Chicken and rice is a go to post work meal for many. After an intense workout our bodies need to replace their fuel and work on rebuilding damaged tissues. The rice in this dish provides carbohydrates that help to replace muscle glycogen used up during intense exercise. And the chicken provides protein to aid in muscle synthesis. If your train for endurance (long runs anyone?) or have goal of increasing muscle mass this meal is even more important.
Plain chicken and rice can be a little bit boring in the taste department. This recipe fixes that for you. It calls for saffron, which can be a pretty pricey, you can replace that with turmeric.
Depending on your feelings about rice you can either make this with white or brown rice. You just need to adjust for the cooking time. If you are feeling confused about which rice is the healthier choice, keep your eyes peeled for a new article to drop next week discussing the pros and cons of both.
Arroz Con Pollo. (Dairy, Egg, and wheat free)
2 pounds bone in chicken, skin removed. (I like to use breasts, but legs would work too).
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 tsp olive oil, divided
½ large onion, chopped
2 med carrots, diced
½ red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tablespoon paprika
1 cup brown or white rice
2.5 cups of water
1/8 tsp saffron (or replace with turmeric)
1 cup peas, frozen
- Remove chicken skin and pat dry. Season with ½ tsp salt and pepper. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or deep sided skillet over medium high heat. Brown chicken on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a platter and keep warm
- Reduce heat to medium and add the onion, carrots and red pepper and ½ tsp salt. Cook until softened, 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, paprika and rice. Stir and cook or about 2 minutes.
- Add water, saffron, and ½ tsp salt. Return chicken to the pan, nestling it into the rice. Be sure to add any juices from the plate. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and cook, covered until the chicken is cooked through, rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed. About 45-60 minutes for brown rice and 20-30 white rice.
- Remove from heat and stir in peas. Let stand for 10 minutes.
One serving is 1/6 the recipe. It provides: 309 calories, 34 grams carbohydrates, 31 grams protein and 6 grams fat.