We can’t seem to get enough of our new cookbook and all its Rican inspiration:

We got it from a vendor on our El Yunque Rainforest tour and we dove right into preparing some Latin dishes upon our arrival home last week.

So our first endeavor was to make Arroz Con Pollo. One thing Puerto Ricans are? – forthright. Its chicken with rice. Bada bing bada boom. We found the recipe in the cookbook but for some reason, I can’t seem to color inside the lines when it comes to cooking. I rarely ever diligently follow a recipe, ounce to ounce, so! Here is our rendition of the infamous classic. (with tostones – the yummy twice-fried plantains):

Arroz Con Pollo (gringo style!)
1 pkg. instant yellow rice (Spanish-style)*
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins
1 sweet onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 tomato, diced
2 red sweet peppers – (1) diced, (1) thinly sliced for garnish
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons sofrito seasoning (look on the Ethnic OR condiments aisle)
1/2 cup pigeon peas
1 plantain, bias sliced
Olive oil
Vegetable oil
To prepare:
Cook rice according to directions and toss cooked rice with pigeon peas – heat through.
While rice cooks, prepare chicken. 
Trim chicken tenders of any remaining skin, lightly season with s+p and cut into bite-size pieces. In a large bowl, toss chicken with sofrito seasoning. Set aside and let marinade while cooking vegetables.
In a large skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium-high heat. Add garlic and let render until fragrant. Add onion, diced peppers, tomato and cook until soft. Add marinated chicken to skillet and stir. Cook until chicken is done and all vegetables are soft and flavors have combined.
While chicken cooks, in a deep, small sauce pan, pour enough vegetable oil to fill 1/2 way up, set to medium-high heat. Carefully add plantain slices, fry 1 minute. Remove slices with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil. Using the back of a sturdy spoon or meat tenderizer, smash each slice. Transfer back to the hot oil and fry until golden. Drain and salt.

Serve yellow rice with chicken mixture on top and plantains on the side.

*Substitute chicken stock for water when preparing rice for mucho flavor!

And I reeeeeeally wanted to try my apron at that yummy chicken, taco, roll-up thing. Our friend informed us that Goya sells frozen dough, that look like tortillas, and I can just fill with anything. So, I bought the frozen “discs”:

Threw together a chicken filler and tried to roll them up. They kinda looked like really, really, really skinny burritos. Or, overweight taquitos. Either way… I mean… total success.

I went ahead and threw together a little empananda of sorts. Just for kicks.

Puerto Rican Tacos
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups chicken stock
¼ cup sofrito seasoning
1 small sweet onion, diced
½ can, diced tomatoes
handful of fresh cilantro
Goya dough, frozen discs, thawed
Vegetable oil
To prepare:
In a deep, sauce pan fill with vegetable oil half way up and heat on medium-high.
In a large pan or dutch oven add chicken, stock, sofrito, onion, tomatoes, cilantro and simmer until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
Remove each chicken breast from the pan and shred (with a fork(s)). Add back to the pan and combine.
Take one thawed dough disc and spoon out a small portion of shredded chicken, onions and tomato onto dough using a slotted spoon. (Make sure you don’t overfill these!) Roll up like a burrito and make sure seams are sealed. Place in hot oil and fry until golden brown.
Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Serve hot with rice and beans.

Oh yeeeah. We’re classy. Give us a break. We broke the bank with our trip to Puerto Rico.. we had to cut corners somewhere….

Now we’re back to tuna sandwiches and coleslaw for dinner. I mean, we obviously can’t eat rice and beans and fried dough for dinner every night. But, I did throw together … wait for it… Puerto Rican-style French Toast, like the one from my last post that we had for breakfast one morning at our resort. I’ll save that for next post… 🙂 It was delish!


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