Friday, March 13, 2015

Arroz Con Pollo Con THRIVE (Panamanian Chicken and Rice)

Well, I've been experimenting again...  And tonight I tried Arroz con Pollo (Panamanian Chicken and Rice) using a ton of THRIVE Life ingredients!

I grew up on this dish.  It has a little special place in my heart.  And it occurred to me I could make it with my THRIVE!  And save myself lots of time by so doing.  Tonight, I had this dish simmering after 20 minutes (including my toddler's "help").  No joke.  When I make it the traditional way -- without THRIVE -- I'm in the kitchen anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.

Here's how THRIVE Life saved me that much time:

1.  I didn't use raw chicken.  This means I didn't have to clean the chicken or disinfect the counters when I was done.  My THRIVE Chopped Chicken was ready for me to use, already cooked!
2.  I didn't have to wash or chop my vegetables.  This included celery, onion, cilantro, and bell pepper.  Saved me 5 to 10 minutes right there!
3.  I was able to skip the browning chicken step -- as well as the shredding chicken step.  This is another 5 to 10 minutes, typically.
4.  Though this didn't technically save me time in the kitchen (since I could be out of the kitchen while it was happening), it did save on how long it took to get dinner to the table:  I didn't have to boil and cook the chicken.

In fact, this was ready in about 55 minutes (but only 20 of that was hands-on -- the rest was just letting the rice cook).  When I make this dish for dinner without THRIVE, I plan for starting dinner 2 hours before I want to eat it.  And even then, sometimes it takes longer.

So here's the recipe how I made it.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons THRIVE Chopped Onions (freeze dried)
1/3 cup THRIVE Celery
1/3 cup THRIVE Mixed Bell Peppers
1 tablespoon THRIVE Cilantro
4 tablespoons THRIVE Tomato Powder
1 teaspoon salt*
6 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup THRIVE Chopped Chicken
1/2 teaspoon oregano*
1 1/2 cups white rice*
1/3 cup THRIVE Green Peas
1/3 cup THRIVE Carrot Dices (optional)
1/2 cup sliced green olives (optional)

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add minced garlic and give a quick stir.  Toss in THRIVE Chopped Onions, THRIVE Celery, THRIVE Mixed Bell Peppers and THRIVE Cilantro.  Give everything a little stir, then add 2 1/2 cups water.  Stir in THRIVE Tomato Powder and salt.  Add additional 4 cups of water, THRIVE Chopped Chicken, white rice, THRIVE Green Peas, and THRIVE Carrot Dices.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer and allow to cook until water is absorbed and rice is done.  Stir in green olives, if desired.

*Denotes other ingredients available through THRIVE Life.

So I'll be the first to admit this isn't exactly like the original traditional takes-a-long-time recipe.  But it's close, and it saves me so much time!  I'm excited to have found a way to make one of my favorite dishes more quickly and easily!  It means I can put it on our dinner menu more frequently :).

A couple notes:  you could add more chicken if you wanted.  We just cut back on our meat consumption a lot, so that was plenty for us.  If you do increase the chicken, you may want to increase the water a little bit too.  And, as it is often difficult to "make up" a recipe (at least for me...), I learned that I needed to increase the water (I wrote the recipe the way it needs to be, not the way I made it.  I had 1 less cup of water in mine and not all the rice got all the way cooked).  And I forgot to include my THRIVE Cilantro in the picture.  Grrr...  Oh well ;).  It's in the recipe, so that's what really counts!

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