By Perry Smith
Signal Managing Editor
Assemblyman Dante Acosta learned one of his first recipes, Arroz con Pollo, from his mother, he said, when he was about 10 or 11 years old.
“My mother, being a single mom, had to make a one-pan dishes to take care of her three kids — my father died when I was 11 — so she would leave instructions for us,” Acosta said. “This is one of my favorites.”
The Acosta typically makes it is a fairly quick and easy recipe, as a result. It’s something that will give the family a hearty meal, balance the food groups and it can be put together in about an hour, he said.
“The prep time’s probably about 10-15 minutes, and it takes about — depending on if you’re using frozen chicken breasts or fresh, which I’m using today — it takes about 45 minutes to cook,” he said.
Another nice benefit of the dish is that there isn’t a lot of cleanup afterward, he said, because the ingredients are fairly contained to mostly store-bought supplies and there’s only one dish t wash, a 10-inch skillet, one that’s ideally about 4 inches deep so it can brown the chicken while it cooks with the season.
One-pan Arroz con Pollo
Four or five chicken breasts
3 cloves of garlic
1 quarter cup of diced onions (optional)
1/4 tsp. cumin (or more, to taste)
2 tbsp. olive oil (or four turns of the pan)
3 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp pepper (to taste)
1 can Ortega green chiles (mild or spicy, depending on preference)
1 package of frozen green beans
1 package of rice
Pour the olive oil into the skillet on the stove (heat setting depends on the type of stove, but chicken should be checked throughout the process). Add the garlic, onions (if desired) and chicken to the pan. Season to taste with cumin as chicken is slowly brown in the skillet for about 15-20 minutes.
Then add the chicken broth and and pepper, and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes. As that’s being stirred, add the rice, and all the while check the consistency toward the 15-minute mark to make sure the chicken stays tender and there’s enough broth to make sure the rice doesn’t dry out. The green beans should be added to the top of the dish toward the end of the meal prep, allowing more time if they’re frozen.