Depending on where you grew up, chicken and rice can mean about 500 different things. Is it fried chicken and gravy over rice, is it soupy, or is it covered with cheese? This recipe is rich and spicy with an awesome tartness from green olives and is one of the few things that my children don’t need coaxing to eat.
8 chicken thighs (6 ounces each)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic (2 to 3 cloves)
2 jalapeños, seeded and minced
1 red bell pepper, large dice
1 yellow bell pepper, large dice
2 dried bay leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp ground annato
2 tsp oregano
1 cup white wine
5.25 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock, plus more if needed
3.5 cups short-grain rice, preferably Valencia
1 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives
cilantro and lime wedges for garnish (optional)
Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a heavy 6-qt pot or heavy-bottomed, straight-sided saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, skin side down, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip, and cook until golden brown, 2 minutes; transfer to a plate. If you like rich flavor, leave all of the fat in the pot.
Reduce heat to medium, and cook onion and garlic, stirring often, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add peppers and cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes. Add spices and stir into onions and peppers. Stir in wine, 2 tsp salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and the bay leaves and cook until wine is completely evaporated. Add chicken, stock, rice and olives; bring to a simmer.
Reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, stirring halfway through, until rice is tender, about 45 minutes. (If rice is not done, add more stock, cup at a time.) Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if needed and garnish with cilantro and lime wedges.