Sharon G taught me how to make Arroz con Pollo. We had a deal that I would give her massages and instead of paying me my fee, she would teach me how to cook. I already had the basics down, but I wanted to learn some family recipes. This was the only recipe I got out of her.
I can’t share it here since, even though I have played with it myself, it is still hers in a way. It was one of my favorite dishes she made, along with black beans and rice, and still is my go-to-meal when I need something that most people will like.
It has a very old school appeal with the sofrito simmered just right, the canned tomatoes being Italian brand so you know the plum-grown chunks are sweet, the peas at the end and the layers of cumin, adobo and arnetto seasonings building to a crescendo of meaty goodness. She also added the bit of lemon juice to freshen it up and I add parsley instead of cilantro to make it even better.
Arroz con Pollo is like most family recipes in that each time there is a touch of something different. I add frozen peas since I don’t have canned and a bit of lemon zest along with the juice. I may even bring in an essence of basil and whatever other veggies I have to spruce it up. I also use brown rice instead of white just to amp up the fiber factor and make it a bit more heart smart. But with all the flavors melding together, the essence endures and wraps around the taste buds like a glorious kiss.
What is your favorite family recipe?