Note that this dish is called Rice with Chicken, not Chicken with Rice. Like Spanish paella, this dish is more about the rice than the chicken. My Panama postcard recipe for this dish says to cut up a whole chicken, but then they show a neat molded circle of rice with no bones protruding from it.
Maybe they separated the meat from the bones after cooking, a messy and tedious approach. I like using chicken drumsticks as they are easy to grab, separate from the rice, and eat by hand. The postcard recipe colors the rice using achiote (annatto seed), but I prefer the more Spanish method of using a pinch of saffron. Serves 4.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 lbs chicken drumsticks
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 can (approx. 15 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3 cups chicken stock
- Pinch saffron
- 2 1/4 cups medium-grain white rice
1) Heat the oil on medium-high heat in a large saucepan and fry the chicken drumsticks until browned on all sides.
2) Reduce heat to medium, add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic, and fry for a minute or so stirring occasionally.
3) Add the tomatoes, black pepper, bay leaves, and wine. Simmer for 5 minutes or so.
4) Meanwhile, heat the stock with the saffron and rinse the rice.
5) Add rice and stock to the chicken and vegetables, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 20 minutes. Without uncovering, turn off the heat and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
The postcard recipe suggests garnishing with sweet peas and pimiento pepper strips, but I find it festive and convenient to simply blanche some frozen peas and carrots, drain well, and scatter around plate.