Three Guys From Miami: Cuban and Spanish Food Recipes
Glenn: This has to be one of our most requested recipes. It's also a recipe I like to make at home. The kids love it and it's a great dish to prepare for guests.

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 - Arroz Imperial


Imperial Rice -- Arroz Imperial

By Three Guys From Miami



Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Yield: 8-10 servings

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
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 strips bacon, cut into slivers
1 1/2 cupswhite onion, finely chopped
2 cups green pepper cored, seeded, and chopped
3 green onions,trimmed and chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
5 large cloves garlic, minced
3 ounces tomato sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1/2 cup frozen green peas
1 medium lime (juice only)
salt and pepper to taste

STEP ONE

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.)

STEP TWO

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:

4 cups parboiled rice
8 cups chicken broth (from the cooked chicken above)
2 teaspoons Bijol powder (or use achiote -- annato seed paste)
1 teaspoon salt

To Mix with Cooked Rice:

7 tablespoons REAL mayonnaise
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese (Approximate, you may also use half Parmesan, half Romano for a sharper taste)
1/2 lb. Monterey Jack or other mild white cheese, grated
This recipe and editorial content from: "Three Guys From Miami Cook Cuban" Copyright ©2004 All Rights Reserved.

No copying or commercial duplication of any content (including photos) without the express written permission of the authors and proper attribution.

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