Saturday, May 20, 2017

Peruvian Chicken and Rice

My favorite restaurant in the world closed last year.
I'm the kind of person who loves and appreciates good food and adores trying new restaurants, so to say this little hole-in-the-wall Peruvian place was my absolute favorite is saying a lot.

While I'm sure the rest of their menu was scrumptious, the only dish on the menu I ever ordered for myself was their Adobo Arequipeño.  Flavorful stewed pork served over mashed sweet potatoes alongside rice and adorned with pickled red onion.

I came close to shedding a tear when I realized I would never be able to eat it again.

I've done my share of googling looking for a suitable replacement for that recipe ever since the restaurant closed and sadly I've yet to find one that resembles what I used to order closely enough to attempt it at home.
This makes me sad.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I was feeling nostalgic (and more than a bit hungry) and started looking for Peruvian dishes.  While I still didn't find what I was looking for, I did notice a new recipe had been added to Allrecipes for Peruvian Chicken and Rice.  I figured that the flavors were so wonderful at that Peruvian joint that this was definitely a recipe worth trying!

Much like what little I had experienced of Peruvian cuisine, the chicken in this recipe was jam-packed with flavor.  Well balanced and delicious!  My daughter had one of those "eyes rolling back in your head and grinning" moments when she took her first bite and my husband's response was pretty darn close to that!

The rice is fragrant and flavorful as well, speckled with green peas, and a lovely balance to the chicken.  I made the recipe as written- which if you've been following for any time at all you probably know doesn't happen often- and I'll do the same next time around.  Because yes, there will be a next time!  My daughter might just revolt if this dish doesn't wind up in regular menu rotation at our house.  :-)

Peruvian Chicken:
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon chile powder (or more to taste)
2 onions, diced
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, diced

Peruvian Rice:
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup basmati rice, rinsed
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup frozen peas

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

2. Mix vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons garlic, paprika, 1 tablespoon cumin, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and chile powder in a large bowl. Add onions and chicken; stir to coat.

3. Transfer chicken mixture to a casserole dish.

4. Roast in the preheated oven, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 45 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

5. Combine chicken broth, basmati rice, 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer until rice is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

6. Bring a small pot of water to a boil; add frozen peas. Cook and stir until bright green, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir peas into the rice. Serve rice alongside chicken.

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