2 cubes of sofrito, or 2 tablespoons of thawed sofrito
Salt to taste
10 olives, stuffed with pimientos
2 tablespoons fat or Achiote Coloring oil, optional for color
1 cup of rice, I use Jasmine Rice which is a longer rice. See notes for varying liquid depending on the rice.
1 1/4 cup of water
1/2 cup or 4 ounces frozen green peas
In a caldero or heavy kettle, heat fat. Reduce heat to moderate, add chicken pieces, and cook for 5 minutes. We want to create a quick sear on the meat. This creates a great deal of flavor on both the chicken and the pot. When we add the other ingredients, they will absorb the flavors, and the dish will be that much more delectable. Remove from the pot and set aside. Allow the meat to rest.
Add diced onions and cook quickly until onions are translucent for 5 to 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to low, add sofrito or sofrito cubes, and saute for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If using frozen cubes, wait for the cubes to dissolve before and cook quickly for a few minutes. While sofrito dissolves and mingles with the onions, dice the chicken into bite-size pieces.
Add rice and achiote oil to the kettle (or olive oil if achiote oil is unavailable). Mix over moderate heat for 2 minutes, stirring to cover the grains of rice with the oil.
Add the chicken and liquid.
Cook uncovered at moderate heat for about five minutes.
Add peas, then cover and bring heat to low for 15 minutes, or until rice dries completely.
With a fork, turn rice from bottom to top.
Spoon rice into a serving platter. Serve at once.
Searing creates a great deal of flavor on both the chicken and the pot. When we add the other ingredients, they will absorb the flavors, and the dish will be that much more delectable.
I like to use skinless, boneless chicken thighs for speed and flavor. The thighs being dark meat will not dry in the cooking process. Boneless thighs also aid in the speed of cooking of the dish.
To add a more yellow color to the rice, you can drizzle the achiote oil onto the rice. If achiote oil is not available, you can use Tumeric instead.
It has become my experience that every time I use the water to rice ratio of 2:1, it rarely turns out. I always end up with rice that is oversaturated with water or overcooked. The only times that it has worked for me have been while cooking pounds of rice at commercial kitchens, but at home, I and as of late, I use a different ratio. For every cup of rice, I use 1 1/4 cups of liquid, and I have been able to yield grainy fluffy rice consistently. As for short-grain rice, I keep finding in my research that for one cup of rice, use one cup of liquid.