Arroz con Pollo (Chicken with Rice)

Arroz con polloComing home from abroad, I would always insist on picking up some Mexican food from the local taqueria on my way home from the airport and long flight.  My go to dish was arroz con pollo (chicken with rice), which I would have been craving for months.  As my mom would say, ‘You know this is Mexican junk food, right?’  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know and I love it. God Bless the taqueria!
     As trips home become fewer and far between, I started experimenting at home with how to replicate it at home in my Asian apartment kitchen.  Although not exactly like the original dish I so dearly love, I’m happy to report that this recipe hits the spot when I’m craving a bit of home.  Not only that, it’s a fairly easy one pot meal to make in a hurry which is great if you are a busy mom like me.

1 cup rice
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup peas
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cup salsa (I use homemade salsa and puree it but you can choose whatever salsa you prefer)
4 oz grated cheese (or more if you are a cheese freak)
2 tbsp oil
2 chicken breasts (diced into 2cm chunks)
       In a large skillet with a lid, heat 2 tbsp oil on medium high heat.  Add peas and mushrooms and sauté until vegetables have picked up color (about 2-3 minutes).
Add rice to pan and toast with peas and mushrooms for a 1-2 minutes.
 Add salsa to the rice mixture and stir.  Cook for 1-2 minutes to allow the rice to take on the moisture in the salsa then add diced chicken and stir together.  Cook for 1-2 minutes until chicken is no longer pink.
 Add half of chicken broth and allow to boil on medium high heat.
Keep cooking on medium high heat until rice has soaked up a majority of the liquid.
 Add remainder of the chicken broth and turn down heat to allow a low simmer. Cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until rice is cooked thoroughly.
  The rice should be cooked but with a good amount of sauce remaining.  Turn off heat and stir in some grated cheese.
 Serves 3-4.


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