It was a challenge to convey all the flavors of the traditional Cuban dish but keep the GERD components at bay. Lighter and leaner than the original, this dish can go from start to finish in roughly half an hour. Serve with a lovely green salad.
SPANISH CHICKEN & RICE
12 oz thick skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 ½ TSP ground cumin
1 ½ TSP oregano
1 TSP smoked Spanish paprika (pimento de la Vera)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 TBSP olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 cup bomba or risotto rice
1 ½ cup (about 14 ounces) diced peeled tomatoes, preferably Pomi brand, which has no added acid
2 ½ to 3 cups homemade or reduced-sodium chicken stock
½ TSP saffron threads
2/3 cup thawed baby peas
½ cup Spanish stuffed green olives
12 asparagus stalks, trimmed to about 6 inches
8 to 12 strips of piquillo or roasted red pepper strips, for garnish
- Cut the chicken into 1-inch chunks. Toss in a bowl with ½ teaspoon each of the cumin, oregano and smoked paprika. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a paella pan or large skillet, cook the onion in the olive oil over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until it just begins to color, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add the chicken. Cook, stirring, until the chicken is mostly white outside, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Sprinkle on the rice and cook stirring for 1 to minutes. Add the tomatoes, saffron, and 2 ½ cups of the chicken stock. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in the remaining chicken stock, peas, and olives. Arrange the asparagus tips on top like the spokes of a wheel. Garnish with the strips of pepper. Cover, raise the heat to moderate, and cook until the asparagus is just tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
Note: If asparagus is not in season, substitute 6 ounces marinated artichoke hearts, drained, quartered lengthwise, and blotted on paper towels to remove excess oil.
This recipe first appeared in The Acid Reflux Solution: A Cookbook and Lifestyle Guide for Healing Heartburn Naturally (Ten Speed Press, 2012) and is available for purchase here.
Learn more about Susan Wyler.
Learn more about Jorge E. Rodriguez.