Peruvian Rice and chickenSeeing that my dear friend Sury is putting me to shame ;) I decided to come back with a few easy Peruvian recipes. One of these is a very simple yet very tasty dish called "Arroz con pollo", basically rice with chicken. I previously wrote about Chaufa rice. Peru, Lima specially, is a place where people eat rice on a daily basis, mostly plain (white) but also in rice-based dishes.
So how about we go to it?
Rice with chicken
8 chicken pieces
1/2 cup oil
1 med-sized onion chopped
3 chopped garlic cloves
1/2 cup green ají (blended / liquified)
1 cup chopped culantro
2 red bell peppers (one chopped, the other one in long thn rows for decoration)
3 cups rice
1 cup peas
1/2 cup of corn "teeth" (the edible part of the corn) - (our corn is white and it's called choclo)
2 1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup beer
salt & pepper
A brief word on "ají"
Most Peruvians love their food to be hot. In many countries this effect is achieved with chili peppers. Although this vegetable is available to us (not in abundance but you can find if you look for it) Peruvian cuisine has a key ingredient. This ingredient is a special kind of pepper called "ají". Although there are different forms of ají, the most used are Ají Verde (green aji) and Aji Panca (red ají). Green aji (which ironically is not green but orange) can be found fresh while red ají is usually found dried or in powder. Here are a couple pics for you to recognize it:
A brief word on culantro:
The key to the flavor of this dish is a herb called "culantro". It is very similar to parsley but with a very strong odor and smaller leaves:
Culantro is not only what brings most of the flavor, but your dish will take this nice green color. Other names for this herb are cilantro or coriander.
A brief word on choclo:
Here in Peru we eat a variety of corn which is white instead of yellow. It's name is "choclo":
- Fry the chicken pieces with salta and pepper in hot oil. Once fried, leave them aside.
- In the same oil fry the garlic, onion, aji and culantro until they take on a brown color.
- Put the chicken pieces back in the mix, stir, add beer and continue to cook until the chicken is done.
- Remove the chicken pieces but don't let them cool down.
- Add rice, peas, choclo and pepper (the chopped one)
- Add the water, taste for flavor and cook for 20 minutes until the rice is done.
- Serve the rice with hot chicken and decorate with the long pepper rows.
Hope you can try it. Let us know if you did ;)