Arroz con pollo with a twist

I love any kind of rice dishes (okay, I am a Korean, so that goes without saying), and I love any version of Arroz con pollo or what I call Mexican paella. :)

I wanted to make a version of this dish with the brown rice since I also love the nuttiness of the brown rice, too.  The problem with the brown rice is that it always takes three times longer to cook than the white rice.  Today, pressed for time (started cooking at 6pm and had to finish eating by 7:30pm), an inspiration struck me: pressure cooker!  My mom gave me the pressure cooker two years ago, and I probably used it twice since I am a little bit afraid of the hissing monster, and I am thrown off by the cooking time and the liquid amount required.  But in the spirit of the adventure, I ventured forth tonight.  The beginning of the recipe is the same as the conventional method of making Arroz con pollo.  Only at the end, when adding the liquid, the pressure cooker method kicks in.

  1. Brown the chicken thigh meat (about 2lb, season with salt and pepper) in a Dutch oven (tonight the pressure cooker) with olive oil.  Drain oil.  Set aside.
  2. Brown smoked spicy chorizo sausage (about 1/2lb, sliced) in fresh olive oil.  Don’t drain oil.  Set the sausages aside with the chicken.
  3. Saute sliced onion (1 large one), sliced red bell peppers (2), smashed garlic (4-5 cloves), bay leaf, red pepper flakes and chopped oregano until the onion is wilted and golden.
  4. Add 2 1/2 cups of brown rice to the vegetable and saute rice about 2 minutes (just like risotto).
  5. Add 1/2 cup of white wine and cook until it is all absorbed.
  6. Add 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock.  (I added 3 1/2 cups of chicken stock as in conventional oven method forgetting that the pressure cookers need less cooking liquid, and it came out too liquidy. ) Arrange the reserved chicken and sausages in the rice.  Add 1 cup of frozen peas (although I might add this after everything is cooked since peas came out a little too cooked in the pressure cooker).
  7. Close the pressure cooker according to the direction of the manufacturer. Turn the heat to medium and let it whistle away for 20 minutes.
  8. Turn off the heat and let the steam escape either by letting it cool down or opening the pressure valve or cooling it with cold water in the sink for a few minutes.

So instead of cooking in the oven for 1 1/2 hours, the rice is ready in the pressure cooker in 20 minutes, and as an added bonus, the chicken was fork tender and falling off the bones.

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