Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Taking the $5 Challenge with Bobby Flay's Throwdown Adobo-Seasoned Chicken and Rice

Thanks to Nina's orchestration, our little culinary group gathered in the park on Sunday for a $5 Slow Food Challenge.  An organization called Slow Food USA issued an encore $5 Challenge to demonstrate that slow food can also be affordable. Slow Food is defined as good for its eaters, its producers and the environment. The challenge was to share a fresh, healthy meal for less than $5 per person... "because slow food shouldn't have to cost more than fast food." You can read more about the challenge in Mark Bittman's New York Times' article, Shared Meals, Shared Knowledge.

Nina suggested we prepare a one-pot meal for four, with a budget of $20, using farm-fresh, organic, and healthy ingredients. Assuming you have some basic spices and pantry items, this is fairly simple to do. I get a kick out of cooking with ingredients from our modest garden, and was able to use the last of the Roma tomatoes, and some fresh oregano, for this dish. For a healthier version, you can use bone-in, skinless chicken thighs, and homemade chicken stock.

I chose Bobby Flay's Adobo-Seasoned Chicken and Rice, from his Throwdown cookbook.  Jorge Ayala, head chef of La Fonda Boricua, New York City's best known Puerto Rican restaurant, won this challenge with his Arroz con Pollo.  The recipes are fairly similar.  Bobby's adobo seasoning appears more complex, but I like the addition of diced, dried Spanish chorizo and a bottle of light beer in Jorge's recipe.  Jorge also uses bone-in, skinless thighs and drumsticks, but I just couldn't give up that crispy, seasoned skin ;-)

Adobo-Seasoned Chicken and Rice
Slightly adapted from Bobby Flay's Throwdown
Serves 4***

Adobo Seasoning
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons granulated onion
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano leaves

Chicken & Rice
10 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin on)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, finely diced
2 medium red bell peppers, finely diced
1 Serrano chile, finely diced
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 cups long-grain rice
5 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen peas (not thawed)
2 cups green olives (Cerignola or Picholine)
Freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
Zest and juice of a lime


Mix together the salt, granulated garlic, cumin, granulated onion, paprika, black pepper, turmeric and oregano in a small bowl. Season both sides of the chicken pieces generously with the adobo seasoning mixture (I used all of it).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Place the chicken in the oil, skin side down (you'll need to do this in batches), and saute until the skin is crispy and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook until the second side is golden brown, another 4 minutes or so. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet, and roast in the oven until tender and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove chicken from oven and cover with foil to keep warm.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoon fat from the Dutch oven, and place it over high heat. Add the onions, red bell pepper, and Serrano chile, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the rice to the pan, stir to coat the rice in the mixture, and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, bay leaf, and salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Stir well, cover, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10-12 minutes. During the last few minutes, quickly stir in the peas, cover, and continue cooking until rice is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed.

Remove the pot from the heat and let sit 5 minutes covered. Remove the lid, fluff the rice and gently fold in the olives, parsley, oregano, lime zest and lime juice. Add the chicken, stir to combine, and serve.

***According to Bobby, this recipe serves four.  There's enough rice for 6-8, so you could easily add a few extra pieces of chicken if you are taking this to a picnic or party, or want leftovers!


Since Thanksgiving is just around the corner, you may also be interested in Bobby Flay's Winning Throwdown Pumpkin Pie.  This pumpkin pie post is one of my most popular posts.


Hillari said...

This tasted beyond Delish..So glad we all share our dishes. Can't wait for pirate night.

Penny said...

Wish I were one of the 6 or 8. That looks soooooo good!

Donna said...

Oh so yummy looking!! Care to move to Florida?? I can tell you are needed here, concert-wise and legally!!

Natalie said...

Looks like a very flavorful recipe!

Jenn said...

I have made this recipe and I love that cookbook!