One of my favorite dishes from my new home country is the Arroz con Pollo, however as I try to eat as little rice as possible, I have found a way to serve this wonderful dish to my family without feeling guilty.
Quinoa is a super food, eaten like a grain for thousands of years here in the Andean region, however it isn’t a grain at all – it is more closely related to beets or spinach. Quinoa seeds are small, round seeds that, when cooked, sprout open and become soft. This super food as been named for a reason, being one of the most complete and healthiest proteins, and boasts a balanced set of amino acids. This means Quinoa is by far healthier than grains such as wheat or rice.
So here is a recipe for Quinoa “Arroz” con Pollo (written by Ashley Morgan, http://ashleyjmorgan.wordpress.com). I promise you won’t be disappointed, just don’t tell your family how healthy it really is for them!
Quinoa “Arroz” con Pollo
2 cups rinsed (or pre-washed) quinoa, any variety
3 1/2 cups organic, low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup filtered water
1 diced organic onion
1 diced organic bell pepper, green
1 diced organic aji, seeded (Peruvian pepper, can substitute jalapeno)
1 hearty bunch of organic cilantro
4 cloves of organic garlic, peeled
2 organic sour oranges (naranja agria, can substitute orange)
1/2 cup organic peas
1 large organic carrot, diced
1/2 cup organic chardonnay
Salt and pepper to taste
6 butterflied organic chicken breasts (boneless/skinless), vegetarian raised
1/2 cup organic coconut oil, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a food processor or high-speed blender, mix cilantro, garlic, peeled/divided oranges, aji and water. Beat until smooth. Pour the mixture into a saute pan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture reduces slightly, turning slightly brighter green. This will take approx 5 minutes.
2. Heat 1/4 cup coconut oil in a saute pan over medium heat until the oil sizzles when a drop of water is tested in the pan. Season the butterflied chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste, and then place into the hot pan. Cook for three minutes on each side or until uniformly cooked and golden brown. Remove from heat and cut into cubes.
3. Heat the remaining coconut oil over medium heat in a 4 qt pot that has a tightly-fitting lid. Saute the diced onion and bell pepper in the oil until onion is translucent. Add quinoa and fry in the oil for a few seconds before adding the green mixture, carrot and chardonnay. Stir for one minute and add chicken stock and cubed chicken breasts. Cover, bringing to a boil. Once at a boil, lower heat to a simmer and allow to cook untouched for 30 minutes. Once all moisture has been absorbed by the quinoa, uncover and add the peas. Stir to fluff and let rest, uncovered, for five minutes. Serve hot.
Recipe courtesy of Ashley Morgan, http://ashleyjmorgan.wordpress.com/