Heirloom Recipes

I love recipes that come to me from people that have been passed down through families. These are the most special and embody everything I love about cooking: family, love, and good food.

I have shared a couple of these recipes before, and I recently came across one from a friend at work. Her mother originally came by this recipe from her college roommate, and it became the first real meal she could cook. After cooking it for her family, it became my friend’s favorite dish, and now could quite possibly be mine too.

I love this dish. It’s so flavorful, easy, and makes leftovers, which is good for those of us working long shifts.

The dish itself relies upon a seasoning packet that you may or may not be able to find in your grocery store. It’s called Vigo and can be found in the international section at the grocery store. If you can’t find it, no worries. It’s cheap as chips online and you could buy a supply to last you as long as you need.

Arroz con Pollo
Recipe courtesy of Laura Smeltzer

1 whole chicken, bone in and skin on for flavor, cut into pieces (or whatever pieces you prefer; I used 8 chicken thighs)
2 cups white rice
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 bay leaves
1 packet Vigo seasoning
2 tbsp kosher salt (seems like a lot, but it’s a big pot of food)
1 quart water
1/4 cup olive oil

1. In a large pan, heat oil over medium high heat; brown chicken on all sides, working in batches if necessary. Remove chicken to a side plate.

2. Drain excess oil out of the pan, return to the burner, add the onion, pepper, and garlic. Cook until translucent. Add bay leaves, Vigo seasoning, tomatoes, and water. Add chicken back to the pot along with any juices collected in the plate. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook 30 minutes.

3. After 30 minutes, add rice to the pot, give it a stir, and place the lid back on. Cook another 30 minutes.

4. Remove the lid. Fluff the rice around the chicken with a fork. Serve.


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