Monday, July 1, 2013

The Peas That Weren't

This recipe happened in a very roundabout sort of way. Fiance was making chicken fried quinoa (our healthy version of chicken fried rice) and bought peas at the store. At least he thought he did. When he opened the can, he had a bit of a surprise. He bought pigeon peas. Which are actually a type of bean. Not one to cry over spilled milk peas, he looked up some recipes that call for this ingredient. What he found was a Puerto Rican recipe for Arroz con Gandules. We didn't really want to go to the store again and we wanted to use some of the sofrito left over from the White Bean Ragout (which is technically an Italian sofrito, quite different from a Puerto Rican sofrito). Since I'm a total wimp, we also needed to omit anything spicy. So we totally butchered this dish. However, the end result was amazing and something we'd definitely make again. So here is our take on this meal. No offense intended to anyone!

Arroz con Gandules
1 can of pigeon peas
1 cup sofrito
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon capers
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1.5 cups brown rice (uncooked)
about 3 cups water
10 ounces chicken (roughly, you can eyeball it)
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon coriander seed
10 or so green olives

Start by combining the sofrito, tomato paste, sliced olives, garlic, and capers. Heat it up for a couple of minutes to break down the sofrito and heat up the tomato paste.

In a small bowl combine all of the spices.
Add the chicken broth and cook for a couple of minutes.
Next, Add the chicken and let it cook until it turns a deep red.
Add the pigeon peas and rice. Then add enough water to cover all of the rice by about an inch. We originally added 2.5 cups and then went back and added another half cup to let it simmer longer.
Let it simmer, covered, until the rice is nice a soft. Ours took quite awhile, maybe 30-40 minutes? Add water if necessary.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Be careful not to burn your mouth. It was so tasty, I couldn't help myself!

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