Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Chicken Sofrito

I love when I learn a new cooking technique from a recipe. The new technique is starting on the stove and finishing in the oven.  I used my Dutch oven even though the recipe called for a skillet.  I think the only problem with the pan substitution is that in the Dutch oven the chicken sunk down a little so the skin was not as crispy as it should have been.  Similarly, the Dutch oven prevented more crisping during the broiler phase.  I did not mind as I planned this dish for left over lunches and the microwave re-heating would not result in a crispy chicken skin.

The new recipe that I learned so much from is Chicken Sofrito and it was delicious.  The rice was flavorful and creamy with a spicy hot flavor.   You must be cautious of over-seasoning when a dish calls for several layers of heat.  In this one there is chili powder on the chicken, a diced jalapeno (de-seeded), cayenne pepper and I substituted Rotel for the canned tomatoes.  My dish ended up perfectly spiced because I used a light hand.  You would always rather add more spice at the end instead of wondering how much milk you will have to consume to put the flames in your mouth out.

The chicken was tender and mild and perfectly paired with the spicy rice.  I used a large onion because I wanted all those pieces to mix with the rice like a risotto.  The rice is a star in this dish as if simmers in the sofrito.  From Wikipedia:  Sofrito is a combination of aromatic ingredients which have been cut in very small pieces, and slowly sautéed or braised in cooking oil for 15–30 minutes.  In Spanish cuisine, sofrito consists of garlic, onion, and tomatoes cooked in olive oil, and is used as the base for many dishes. Similar preparations are used in the cuisines of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, and also some Latin American countries."

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