Arroz con Pollo (Rice with Chicken)

A few fresh ingredients, a few canned ingredients and you have an easy one-dish, low-fat, meal – perfect for the RV or home kitchen. Traditionally made with bone-in chicken pieces, my version uses sliced boneless chicken thighs or breasts so you can wrap it inside a tortilla for campfire dining, if you choose.

2 Tablespoons olive oil (or vegetable oil)
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thigh or breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice, uncooked
1 green or red pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (optional)
1 cup chicken stock (I use low-sodium)
1 cup of your favorite red salsa
One 14 ounce can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
salt to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano

flour or corn tortillas, optional, for serving
fresh cilantro as garnish, optional

Heat a heavy Dutch oven, with a tight-fitting lid, and coat the bottom with two tablespoons of oil. Add the chicken and saute for 3-5 minutes until lightly browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a plate. Reduce heat to medium and add the chopped onion. Saute for 3-5 minutes until translucent and beginning to brown. Add the garlic, stir for one minute; then add the rice and stir to coat with oil. Add the green and jalapeno peppers and stir to mix well. Return the chicken to the pot. Add the chicken stock, salsa, canned tomatoes and oregano. Salt, if desired. Stir to mix well. Reduce heat to very low, cover, and let the dish cook for 25 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked through. Remove from heat, give it a good stir, then let rest, covered, for ten minutes. Serve with tortillas, optional.

Serves 4.

NOTES: If your salsa is really spicy, you may not want to add the jalapeno – or you may want to use several jalapeno peppers, depending upon your tastes. Substitute vegetables (like zucchini and muchrooms) and use vegetable stock for a vegan/vegetarian version. Serve with tortillas (corn tortillas are traditional) and a big fruit platter for a delicious, easy dinner.

RV NOTES: This recipe is very adaptable. It can be made ahead – up to the point of adding the liquids to the casserole – placed in a Ziploc bag and finished-up in the RV later. If you use an oven-proof Dutch oven, the last 25 minutes of cooking time can occur in a 350° oven.

This recipe was updated August 2015