In­spired by Puerto Rico

Passage Maker - - @rest - By Karen Even­den

When­ever I can limit the num­ber of dirty dishes I cre­ate mak­ing din­ner, I know there will be a big ap­pre­cia­tive smile from my fa­vorite dish­washer (aka “the Cap­tain”). Th­ese two Puerto Ri­can—in­spired recipes al­low me to do just that.

Cen­turies- old Puerto Ri­can cui­sine shows in­flu­ences from Europe ( mainly Spain) and Africa, as well as from the in­dige­nous Taíno cul­ture. And be­gin­ning in the lat­ter part of the 19th cen­tury, in­gre­di­ents from other North Amer­i­can cuisines be­gan to make their way into Puerto Ri­can dishes as well.

But one tra­di­tional Puerto Ri­can in­gre­di­ent has re­mained. Many Puerto Ri­can sa­vory dishes, in­clud­ing stews, rice, seafood, meat, and poul­try, call for adobo sea­son­ing. Un­like other adobo sea­son­ings found in the Philip­pines, the Caribbean, Mex­ico, and the South­west United States that are vine­gar-based, hot and spicy sauces and mari­nades, Puerto Ri­can adobo is a dry blend that is likely to con­tain some com­bi­na­tion of salt, gar­lic, oregano, turmeric, co­rian­der, black pep­per, le­mon, cumin, hot pep­per, and/or saf­fron. So even if you don’t have pre­made Puerto Ri­can adobo sea­son­ing on board you can cre­ate this clas­sic sea­son­ing us­ing a few spices that you likely al­ready have in your pantry. PUERTO RI­CAN RICE, CHICKEN, AND VEG­GIES SERVES: 4 A riff on ar­roz con pollo, this easy one-pot dish can be con­ve­niently dou­bled, mak­ing it a per­fect meal to share with a large gath­er­ing. 3 3 ta­ble­spoons olive oil, di­vided 4 large bone­less, skin­less chicken thighs Salt and pep­per, to taste 1 red bell pep­per, sliced thin 1 medium onion, finely chopped 2 gar­lic cloves, minced ½ tea­spoon cumin (op­tional) ½ tea­spoon oregano (op­tional) ½ tea­spoon turmeric (op­tional) Pinch of crushed red pep­per (or to taste) 2 cups chicken stock 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced toma­toes ¾ cup long-grain rice (or what­ever rice you have on­board) 2 3-inch strips of le­mon peel Wa­ter, as needed ¾ cup frozen peas ½ cup small pi­mento-stuffed olives ¼ cup chopped cilantro (op­tional) Heat 2 ta­ble­spoons olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy pot over high heat. Sea­son the chicken with salt and pep­per. Add the chicken to the pan and cook un­til well browned, about 3 min­utes per side. Trans­fer the browned chicken to a plate. Add the re­main­ing ta­ble­spoon of olive oil to the pot and stir in the red bell pep­per, onion, and gar­lic. Cook over medium heat, stir­ring fre­quently, un­til soft­ened, about 6 min­utes. Add the sea­son­ing (cumin, oregano, turmeric, and red pep­per) and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the chicken stock, toma­toes, and rice and bring to a sim­mer. Re­turn the chicken and ac­cu­mu­lated juices to the pan and add the le­mon peel. Cover and cook un­til rice is ten­der, about 20 min­utes, adding wa­ter if needed. Stir in the peas and olives and cook over low heat for 2 to 3 min­utes, un­til the peas are ten­der. Sprin­kle with cilantro and serve. n

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