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  • Writer's pictureS. Lemon

This easy Spanish chicken and rice are so good, it will be suspected of fowl play!

An easy and flavor-packed Spanish chicken and rice recipe blend zesty and bold flavors that your entire family will love.



For dinner, I like to keep things simple with a chicken and rice dish like Arroz con Pollo. It's a versatile recipe that allows you to customize it with different vegetables and spices to satisfy your family's tastes. Spanish cuisine is known for its rich flavors and hearty meals, and Spanish chicken and rice is a highly sought-after and satisfying dish. Fortunately, this recipe is easy to follow and can be adjusted to your liking. You can add other vegetables or spices to make it your own, such as diced tomatoes, green bell peppers, saffron, or smoked paprika.


As you may have noticed, at LemonKitchen, we prioritize meals that are both nourishing and satisfying, with a focus on promoting overall wellness. To achieve this, we often draw inspiration from Mediterranean cuisine, which is renowned for its health benefits and lifestyle practices. It's important to us to provide recipes that can contribute to a healthy and balanced lifestyle, are loaded with nutrients, and can help you improve your health. Later in this article, we will discuss what is the Mediterranean Diet and a few benefits.



What is Arroz Con Pollo?


Arroz con Pollo is a well-known Spanish and Latin American dish, which translates to chicken and rice. It is a delightful combination of chicken, yellow rice, and vegetables. In Spain, the rice is yellow due to the use of saffron, while in Latin American countries, annatto is used to achieve the same effect. This dish is similar to paella and is widely enjoyed across the globe.


What kind of rice to use for Arroz con Pollo?


When it comes to cooking, certain recipes may suggest using short-grain rice, but personally, I find that long-grain rice, such as jasmine or basmati, is the better choice. Short-grain rice often results in a stickier texture, whereas long-grain rice provides a fluffier consistency that I prefer. For this reason, I would recommend using jasmine or basmati rice.


Do you have to rinse the rice before cooking?


Many individuals rinse rice due to the milling process, which leaves a layer of starch on the exterior. Furthermore, surface starch adheres to the rice. When you rinse the rice, the surface starch separates and remains in the water. Rinsing or soaking rice reduces its stickiness, and when cooked, the rice kernels become fluffier and separate.


Should you rinse rice every time you cook it?


If you desire rice with a fluffier texture and distinct grains, I suggest opting for whole-grain rice. It's important to consider whole-grain rice as an agricultural product, much like produce or a bag of apples. Just like how you would wash produce bought from a store, it's recommended to apply the same principles to rice, particularly whole-grain. This won't cause any noticeable differences in texture or cooking, so it's a safe practice to implement.


What is the Meditterean Diet?


According to Harvard University, the Mediterranean diet is a primarily plant-based eating plan that includes daily intake of whole grains, olive oil, fruits, vegetables, beans and other legumes, nuts, herbs, and spices. Other foods like animal proteins are eaten in smaller quantities, with the preferred animal protein being fish and seafood. Although the pyramid shape suggests the proportion of foods to eat (e.g., eat more fruits and vegetables and less dairy foods), it does not specify portion sizes or specific amounts. It is up to the individual to decide exactly how much food to eat at each meal, as this will vary by physical activity and body size. There are additional points that make this eating plan unique:

  • An emphasis on healthy fats. Olive oil is recommended as the primary added fat, replacing other oils and fats (butter, margarine). Other foods naturally containing healthful fats are highlighted, such as avocados, nuts, and oily fish like salmon and sardines; among these, walnuts and fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Choosing fish as the preferred animal protein at least twice weekly and other animal proteins of poultry, eggs, and dairy (cheese or yogurt) in smaller portions either daily or a few times a week. Red meat is limited to a few times per month.

  • Choosing water as the main daily beverage, but allowing a moderate intake of wine with meals, about one to two glasses a day for men and one glass a day for women.

  • Stressing daily physical activity through enjoyable activities.

What are some health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet?


While research is continuously being conducted, the current evidence as noted by The Cleveland Clinic, notes the Mediterranean Diet has many benefits, including:

  • Lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease.

  • Supporting a body weight that’s healthy for you.

  • Supporting healthy blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol.

  • Lowering your risk of metabolic syndrome.

  • Supporting a healthy balance of gut microbiota (bacteria and other microorganisms) in your digestive system.

  • Lowering your risk for certain types of cancer.

  • Slowing the decline of brain function as you age.

  • Helping you live longer.

Hopefully, this information will provide you with a valuable starting point for your health journey.


But instead of belaboring this any further, let's get our grill on!


Easy Spanish Chicken and Rice Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken thighs

  • 1 cup Jasmine or Basmati rice

  • ½ cup chicken broth

  • ½ cup water

  • 1 tsp olive or avocado oil

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon coriander

  • 1 lemon

Instructions:
  1. Combine all the dry ingredients and divide them into two halves

  2. Cut the lemon in half, then thinly slice one half (for grilling) and reserve the other half for juicing

  3. Rinse the rice well and place it in a bowl. Cover the rice with water and allow it to soak for 15 minutes while you work on other things. You should be able to break a grain of rice easily. Drain well.

  4. Add soaked rice, chicken broth, water, and half the spices to a rice cooker. Mix everything together and hit start.

  5. Pat the chicken dry, drizzle olive oil over the chicken, and season with the spice rub on the chicken. If you use skin on, make sure to get under the skin. Grill chicken over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes a side (should be an internal temperature of 165°.

  6. Take sliced lemons and grill on each side for 1 minute. Place on the side.

  7. Add rice to a bowl and place chicken on top of the rice. Juice a few slices of lemon over the chicken and rice.

  8. Let rest for 5 minutes. This will help incorporate the flavors.


Nutrition:

Calories: 462

Protein: 47.3g

Fats: 10.7g

Carbs: 36.7g

Fiber: 0.7g

Net Carb: 36.0g






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