Soupy Rice with Chicken and Vegetables

This recipe comes from the 2018 February edition of Food and Wine magazine, and instead of giving you my review, which was going to include a rave about the pimiento-stuffed olives being included in this dish, I’m going to quote the paragraph that came with the recipe. “Overcooking your rice a bit creates the creamy body for this chicken and vegetable stew. Johnson loves finishing the pot with briny, pimiento-stuffed olives-just like his Puerto-Rican grandma used to do”  Serves 10 ( Except for the OO and bay leaf, I cut the recipe in half)

5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

2 Ib. skinless, boneless chicken thighs

1 tsp. adobo seasoning

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced

1 onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

4 cups chicken stock or low sodium chicken broth

2 (14.5-oz.) cans diced tomatoes

2 cups water

1 bay leaf

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

1 1/2 cups medium-grain rice

1 cup thawed frozen peas (I used petite frozen peas)

1 cup small pimiento-stuffed olives (plenty left over for your martini)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

  1. In a large enameled cast-iron Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat 3 Tbsp. of the olive oil. Season the chicken with the adobo and black pepper. Brown the chicken in 2 or 3 batches over moderately high heat, 6-8 minutes per batch turning each halfway through. Transfer the browned chicken thighs to a plate.
  2. In the pot, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Add the bell peppers, onion and garlic to the pot, and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until it turns brick red, about 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes and their juices, water, bay leaf, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Return the chicken to the pot, stir in the rice, and cook covered, over moderately low heat until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the peas and olives, and let stand until heated through, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.
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