09 January 2016

Weekend Cooking: The Kitchen Journal--Brown Rice Arroz con Pollo

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

The Kitchen Journal from Beth Fish ReadsYou'd think after the holidays I would have had my fill of experimenting with new dishes and spending time in the kitchen. That wasn't the case this past week; I tried three new recipes and discovered how to make decent arroz con pollo with brown rice.

Adult Beverages. December is the time for parties and entertaining, and everyone (including us) seemed to be on a red blend kick. I thought I'd mention three such wines that we particularly like; we've had all of these many times, and they are reliably good and drinkable. Dreaming Tree Crush (California) is a blend of Merlot, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, and Syrah. It's fruity but dry with light tannins and goes well with grilled meats and pulled pork. Hot to Trot from 14 Hands (Washington State) is a blend of Merlot and Syrah and has a nice spiciness to it. We like this as a basic table wine or just on its own. Quotation's Veramonte (Chile) is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon , Syrah, Carmenere, and Cabernet Franc. The hints of cherry and chocolate make this dry wine perfect for sipping in the evening.

 Magic Brown Rice Arroz con Pollo. I had a hankering for the ultimate Mexican (or is it Southwestern?) comfort dish, arroz con pollo. I don't have an official source for the recipe I follow because I learned to make this dish from a friend when I was living in Arizona and had just gotten my first apartment. Back then, I specialized in two dinner dishes for guests: meatloaf and chicken and rice. Both are good choices for the beginning cook.

Anyway, over the years I've tried to make arroz con pollo with brown rice and have never been pleased with the results. Either the rice was undercooked or the chicken ended up overcooked. Last week I spent some time thinking about this issue and reading a bunch of recipes and blogs. I found a variety of tricks and tips and finally settled on this:
Soak the brown rice in hot tap water for at least 15 minutes. Drain before using.
Yes, it was a simple as that. I made no other changes to my recipe whatsoever. The dinner came out perfect. And, no, I don't have a photo because I didn't think to take one. I suspect this trick will work in any recipe. Give it a try and let me know.


rhapsodyinbooks 1/9/16, 6:16 AM  

We lived in Tucson for ten years, and discovered that in that area of the country, there are at least three "Mexican" cuisines, at least in my estimation. There is the American (for which "cuisine" as an adjective is a bit of a stretch, even though I love it), there is the actual Mexican, and then there is the Mexican/Native American, of which you find a lot especially in New Mexico. This latter cuisine combines the two cultural traditions and is my favorite, but hard to find outside the area.

bermudaonion 1/9/16, 9:05 AM  

My mom loves 14 Hands Merlot - I'll have to get her a bottle of Hot to Trot to try.

Katherine P 1/9/16, 10:16 AM  

The Hot to Trot sounds delicious! I like the idea of the hint of spiciness. I've just started cooking more rice and have been wanting to use more brown. I'll definitely keep this tip in mind for chicken and rice dishes.

Col (Col Reads) 1/9/16, 11:05 AM  

This is a great tip. I have trouble getting my family to eat brown rice, so I'm going to try this soon.

Vicki 1/9/16, 11:35 AM  

I've never made Arroz con Pollo. I think I'll find a recipes for it and give it a try. I love brown rice.

Tina 1/9/16, 12:47 PM  

I like making Arroz con Pollo but never thought about brown rice. That's a col trick. When I try it I will link up to you here.

Esme 1/9/16, 4:41 PM  

I have never tried the rice dish. Happy New Year.

Anonymous,  1/9/16, 4:52 PM  

I'm very into wine right now, so I'm going to have to check those bottles out!

Debbie 1/9/16, 5:33 PM  

I always think it's funny when people write "Washington State" --- then I realize "oh yes, they're not from the West." (I use it all the time now too--LOL)
They grow lots of wine grapes where I grew up in "Washington State." They didn't when I was growing up, but have become 'known' for it over the past 35 years. I'll have to try that one.
I have to develop a taste for brown rice. Or rather, convince my husband that it's good. I know it's better for you.

(Diane) bookchickdi 1/10/16, 10:36 AM  

What a great tip for brown rice, I'm going to try that next time.

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! 1/11/16, 11:04 AM  

Thanks for the great tip! My preferred rice is brown, but it does not always turn out as I want when I use it for white rice in some recipes.

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