Cuban Imperial Rice Recipe – Receta de Arroz Imperial
2 large chicken breasts (skinned and deboned)
1 cup rice
1 can tomato paste (4 oz)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
1/2 cup bell pepper (diced)
1/2 cup white onion (diced)
1/4 cup green peas
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 garlic cloves (minced)
Dash of salt
Dash of red pepper
Wash chicken breasts and add to a large pot, adding water until the chicken is completely covered. Bring to a boil, then simmer. Add minced garlic clove, and cook uncovered until the chicken is cooked.
Remove chicken, and save the broth in the pot. Shred the chicken into large chunks using two forks, then set aside.
Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to a saucepan over low heat. Add the diced bell pepper and onion, saute until the onion is translucent. Add the tomato paste and chicken, bringing mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Add peas, and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Mix in a dash of salt and red pepper, remove from heat and set aside.
Add cup of rice to the chicken broth mixture, and one teaspoon of ground annatto seed or achiote paste (for color). Cover pot and cook for about 15-20 minutes until the rice absorbs most of the broth. Add mayonnaise to the cooked rice, mixing well.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread half of your rice mixture to the bottom of a glass baking dish. Add the shredded chicken on top of the rice, creating a layer. Add the remaining rice mixture to the top of the chicken, pressing down with a spatula to make everything firm and even. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top of the last layer. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes, remove before cheese starts to brown.
Optional: Add a thin layer of mayo to the top layer of rice after removing from oven. It sounds unusual, but it’s an extremely popular way to also enjoy this dish.
Do you have any questions or comments? Please let me know!