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Cooking with Styles: Arroz con pollo

"Arroz con pollo is one of many that I learned from El Torito, it is Mexican comfort food!"

SAN DIEGO — One spring after I came back from skiing in Park City, Utah for the winter, El Torito was opening a new restaurant in La Jolla. I was hire as part of the opening wait staff. I became friends with one of the managers so for the next couple of summers he would hire me when I came back from park city. And being that I enjoy cooking I would always ask the cooks to share the recipes. Arroz con pollo is one of many that I learned from El Torito, it is Mexican comfort food!

Arroz con polo

  • Chicken
  • 3 - 4 lbs. Boneless/skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • Smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper

Rice

  • 1 1/2 cups long grain rice
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 - 3 tbsp. Cooking oil
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 - 3 tbsp. Tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp granulated onion
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oregano

The whole dish will be cooked in the same large skillet that has a lid, you can use tin foil if needed. Season chicken with salt and pepper, dredge in flour and fry in oil until lightly brown on a medium high heat, 3 - 5 minutes per side. Remove chicken and start the rice. Add oil and rice and lightly brown, 3 - 4 minutes, follow with onions and garlic another 3 - 4 minutes. Add the rest of the herbs and spices except paprika, stir in chicken stock,  bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Place chicken on top sprinkle with paprika, cover and cook for 20 minutes. When you serve, you can finish with the tops of chopped green onions or cilantro.