Creole Spiced Rice with Chicken & Beans

Serves 4.

This recipe comes from our retail manager, Maité. She is an amazing cook — take our advice, you’ll want to eat anything she prepares or devises!

4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons sofrito (recipe follows)
1 heaping tablespoon Creole Spice
3 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups medium-grain white rice
2 cups water or chicken stock
3 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 bay leaf

Put the olive oil, sofrito, Creole Spice, chicken pieces, and garlic into a heavy-bottomed pot set over medium heat. Once the chicken becomes opaque and is partially cooked, add the beans and rice. Gently stir them into the chicken mixture and cook for a minute or so, which will help keep the rice from getting mushy during cooking.

Add the water or stock, salt, and bay leaf and stir once again. Heat until the water or stock boils, stir one last time, and tightly cover the pot. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting possible and cook for 26 minutes WITHOUT LIFTING THE LID.

Turn off the heat, uncover the pot, and fluff with a fork. Serve with a lemony salad of your choice or on its own! 

Sofrito

There are hundreds of iterations of sofrito and you could certainly mince this with a knife, if you prefer. This version is inspired by my Puerto Rican upbringing. You can freeze any leftovers to use as a base for soups and other rice dishes.

 1 onion, peeled and cut in chunks
1 bell pepper, cut in chunks
1 bunch of cilantro, stems and leaves
1 head of garlic, peeled 

Put all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade. Pulse a few times to chop the ingredients fairly finely — don’t purée the vegetables. Alternately, you can use a blender but you’ll need to work in batches.

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