Over Christmas break, I went back home to India. It was a glorious three week holiday filled with lots of home-cooked food, family, R&R, and of course shopping. One thing that I brought back was good saffron from Kashmir–nothing quite like it. I love the vibrant orange hue and the lovely floral fragrance that saffron lends to any dish. Spanish saffron is equally delicious and is the appropriate substitute for this recipe, especially since this version is inspired by Spanish-Style Arroz con Pollo
Ingredients: (cooking for two)
5 chicken tenders
1 red pepper, 1 green pepper, and 1 onion–diced
1tsp of minced garlic
1tsp of sweet paprika
2 cups of hot chicken broth
1tsp of crushed paprika
3/4 cup basmati rice
2Tbsp of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley for garnish
Heat 1 Tbsp in a deep skillet. Chop up the chicken tenders, season with salt and pepper, and fry in the hot oil till pale golden.
In the meantime, soak the rice in cold water–it shortens the cooking time and improves the flavor!
Remove the chicken and add the rest of the oil in the same pan. Add the peppers and onions and saute till they are very soft. Halfway through this process, add garlic and paprika.
While the peppers and onions are softening in the hot oil, heat 2 cups of chicken broth and add the saffron. Allow the saffron to bloom–the yellow stock will turn into a dark orange color.
Once the onions and peppers are softened, add the soaked and rinsed rice to the skillet. Sautee the rice for 2-4 mins till the grains are lightly toasted and fragrant.
Finally, add the hot chicken stock and saffron solution, reduce the heat to medium-high and wait for the rice to cook through.
Once most of the liquid has evaporated, add the chicken to the skillet and continue cooking till all the liquid is gone and the rice is cooked through.
Finish with a garnish of fresh chopped parsley. Serve piping hot!!!