Raúl: Many people serve Imperial Rice as a side dish, but it is good enough to be served as a main dish.
Jorge: It's not that hard to make!
Glenn: Don't let the rather long list of ingredients scare you! You can do everything in this recipe with less than 30 minutes prep time.
Raúl: And that includes drinking a beer or two!
Imperial Rice, a delicious chicken and rice dish with a unique twist -- an infusion of cheese and a gooey melted cheese top.
INGREDIENTS:3 pounds chicken thighs, skin on
Wash chicken and place in eight-quart stock pot. Add approximately six cups of water to fully cover meat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, until the meat is tender and falls from bone -- approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove chicken and keep the broth. (You will use some of the broth to make the rice.) Skim excess fat from broth!
When completely cooled, skin and break the chicken into small pieces by hand. (Feed chicken skin to dog or other suitable receptacle.)
Sauté the bacon briefly in a large sauté pan. Drain most (BUT NOT ALL) of the excess fat. You can blot it up with a paper towel. Add a tiny bit of olive oil and heat. Add onion, green pepper, oregano, and green onions. Sauté until the onions are translucent.
Add the garlic and sauté for one additional minute, stirring occasionally.
Add tomato sauce, chicken, and sherry. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer (uncovered) approximately 15 minutes to thicken the sauce. Add peas and lime juice during the last five minutes of cooking.
Salt and pepper to taste. TASTE IT! Set aside.
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Mix the rice with the chicken broth in a large covered three-quart sauce pan; add Bijol powder for color -- if you can't get this locally, use a little achiote. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is thoroughly cooked and most of the broth absorbed.
Add the mayonnaise to the cooked rice (a little at a time) and mix thoroughly. Take one third of the rice and cover the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan. Layer chicken mixture on top of the rice. Then add a layer of the mayonnaise/rice mixture.
Generously sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top of this layer. Add the remaining rice. Again, sprinkle Parmesan cheese on the top layer. Spread grated Monterey Jack or other mild white cheese completely over top.
Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese melts completely and bubbles, browning slightly.
To Cook Rice:
To Mix with Cooked Rice:
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