Tomatillo Poblano Arroz con Pollo, a green version of the arroz con pollo I typically prepare. On most days, my recipe is more tomato and sweet pepper based, but I was having one of those days in the kitchen. You know those days, when you find yourself with ingredients at the end of the week that really need to be used up. I had three big poblano peppers and a pack of defrosted chicken thighs I had to do something with. Everytime I prepare arroz con pollo, it takes me back to that great episode of “I Love Lucy”. She was going to meet Ricky’s mom for the first time and wanted to impress her by preparing a Cuban style arroz con pollo. There are many dishes, just like this one, in Latin America that are so similar when it comes to preparing them. They all vary slightly in the ingredients, but the basics are the same. And the warm, comforting feelings of home and Mom’s or Abuela’s cooking are all the same as well. This is a great recipe to prepare for large family dinners and it can be prepared a couple of days in advance. Although there are only two of us, I like this recipe because it’s freezer friendly and we can enjoy it another night when I don’t have time to cook.
For Tomatillo Poblano Sauce
1 1/2 pounds poached tomatillos
1 poblano, roughly chopped
1 serrano, sliced
1 roma, quartered
2 cups chicken broth
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste
You will also need
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup white onion, diced
2 poblanos, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups long grain rice (I like to use jasmine rice)
Cilantro for garnish
Lime slices or wedges for garnish
1. In the blender, combine all of the ingredients for the tomatillo poblano sauce. Blend on high until smooth, taste for salt and set aside.
2. Season the chicken on both sides with, salt, pepper, garlic and cumin to taste. In a large dutch oven style pot, preheat 4 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat for 5 minutes. Brown and sear the chicken for 4 minutes per side and remove from pot.
3. In the same pot, add the onion, poblanos and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 5 minutes. Add the rice and saute for another 5 minutes, adding a little more oil if needed. Pulse the tomatillo poblano sauce in blender to mix again and then pour all the sauce into pot.
4. Once it comes to a boil, add the chicken pieces back into pot making sure that most of the chicken is covered. Reduce heat, cover and continue cooking for 25 to 30 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. The rice will stick a little to bottom of the pot, so you could gently move the rice with a silicone spatula during cooking. Remove from heat and let stand for 20 minutes. Fluff rice with fork before serving. Yields 6 servings. Garnish with lime slices/wedges and cilantro. Serve with warm tortillas.