1 whole chicken (about 3 lbs) cut into pieces
or about the equivalent in chicken breast pieces and thighs.
1 cup sofrito
1 cup olive oil
½ cup recaito
1 white onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
¼ cup chopped garlic
¼ cup capers
2 tbsp. oregano leaves
1 tbsp. ground cumin
2-3 bay leaves
3-4 pinches saffron
1lb. white long grain rice (unbleached, unconverted and unwashed)
1 ½ qts well flavored chicken stock or broth
1 tsp Bijol seasonings (See note)
2 pieces banana leaf (optional: see note)
Salt and pepper
- Place a large pot on medium high heat.
- Add olive oil.
- Begin browning chicken pieces a little at a time. Do not crowd
pan or chicken will steam rather than sear. Remove as they brown and
place on a plate.
- When all the chicken is browned add recaito, onions, garlic,
pepper, capers, oregano, cumin and saffron. Sauté until softened. Add
- Stir the rice well to coat in oil and flavorings.
- Add chicken pieces back to pot. Add bay leaves.
- Pour chicken stock over this mixture. Sprinkle Bijol in and stir well.
- Allow this to cook over medium high heat. Allow to boil while stirring frequently.
- When the liquid comes to a boil cook additional 5-6 minutes at
medium high heat then turn down to a simmer. Stir once. Cover with
banana leaves cover pot.
- Cook for about 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is cooked. If
it is slightly undercooked, leave covered. The remaining heat will
finish. Serve immediately.
NOTE: Bijol is a seasoning found in the Latin
section of many supermarket spice aisles. It is a coloring agent that
imparts a little flavor and yellow color to food recipes. This is the
real coloring that yellow rice has in Latin American rice dishes.
However, I do recommend saffron to add extra flavor. If you cannot find
Bijol, I recommend adding extra saffron. The additional expense is
worth it. Banana leaves are often used to cover stewed or steamed
dishes. They impart a distinct “island” flavor. You should be able to
find them in any Latin grocery or oriental market.