Saturday, October 5, 2019

Arroz con Pollo de Miriam (Cuban-style Chicken and Rice)

Hello! Did you miss us? Well, we're back and we're back with deliciousness. And who better to teach us than our first-ever and most frequent teacher? The one and only Miriam!

We had been wanting to include Arroz con Pollo on the blog for a long time. After all, it is one of the most popular and omnipresent dishes in Cuba's culinary tradition. As with much of Cuban cuisine, the dish originated in Spain but it is definitely a staple in Cuban food. It was even featured in one of  the most iconic episodes of "I Love Lucy", with Ricky and Fred attempting to make it.

As always there are a million recipes for Arroz con Pollo, this is how Miriam does it and it's very good! So, don't go kvetching in the comments telling us it's "wrong" - it's not wrong, it's how she does it.

The recipe is divided in two parts: the chicken broth and the chicken and rice.

Let's do this!




4 - 6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Medium Green Pepper - chunked
1 Medium Onion - chunked
5 Garlic Cloves - whole
2 Packets Tropical Seasoning - we used Sazón Goya

  • NOTE: If you use chicken with bones, you can omit the tropical seasoning
1 Medium Tomato - chunked
1/2 Tblsp Sea Salt or to taste

Chicken and Rice

1 Medium Onion - diced
1 Medium Pepper - diced
5 Garlic Cloves - minced
Olive Oil - enough to cover bottom of pot
1/2 tsp Salt
7 oz Can of Whole Red Pimentos - save liquid
12 oz Jar of White Asparagus - save liquid
8.5 oz can of Sweet Peas - save liquid
1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
1 Tbsp Sofrito Criollo - we used Kirby
12 oz Tomato Sauce
1 1/2 cups Cooking Wine
6 cups of the Broth from above
2 Bay Leaves
2 lbs Short Grain Rice
1/4 tsp Annatto Powder  - we used Bijol
1 Bottle of Beer
1/2 tsp Sea Salt or to taste


This recipe makes 16 servings

  1. Add ingredients in pot and add water to cover everything. Bring to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, lower temperature to sustain a low boil.
  3. Cook for approximately one hour or until chicken's internal temperature is 165° F.
  4. Remove the chicken and set aside.
  5. Strain and press vegetables into the broth and discard.
  6. Set broth aside.

Chicken and Rice:
  1. Shred the chicken.

  1. Dice onions and peppers and mince the garlic.

  1. Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pot.
  2. Add shredded chicken and brown lightly. 

  1. Add garlic, onion and peppers. Add sofrito criollo, tomato sauce, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp cumin. Stir thoroughly.
  2.  Add cooking wine, liquid from peas, asparagus and red pimentos. 
  3. Cook mixture on high until onions and peppers are soft, about 10 minutes.
  4. Taste for seasoning, add salt as needed.
  5. Turn the stove off.
  • NOTE: If you want, you can turn this off now and return when you're ready to add the rice and finish cooking the dish.
  1. Rinse the rice.

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Turn chicken mixture back on to high. Add 6 cups of broth, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 2 bay leaves, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Bring the mixture to a full boil.

  1. Add the rice and 1/4 tsp of Bijol. Bring back to a full boil. 
  2. Cover the pot and place in the oven for 20 minutes. 
  3. Take out of the oven, add beer and stir. 

  • NOTE: If you want the arroz con pollo to be "a la chorrera" (soupy) add more broth to taste. You will have a lot of broth left, it can be frozen and used in other dishes.
  1. Add pimentos, peas, and asparagus for garnish.

Miriam made sweet fried plantains - the classic accompaniment to arroz con pollo - and we paired it with a crisp, lovely Rosé. We all enjoyed a wonderful dinner, sharing old memories and making new ones.

Do you have an arroz con pollo recipe? How is it different? Let us know in the comments, and also let us know if you make Miriam's recipe and how it turned out.

¡Buen provecho!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Holiday Favorites

Hello friends, it's been a long time! It was a crazy year and a half, but we hope to hit the ground running in 2018, and offer some new recipes. We even hope to have Lechón Asado (Roast Pork) for this time next year!

In the meantime, here are some traditional Cuban holiday favorites that we've made through the years.

Crème de Vié (Cuban Egg Nog)

Frijoles Negros (Cuban-style Black Beans)

Yuca con Mojo


And for good luck at midnight on New Year's Eve:
Potaje de Lentejas (Lentil Stew)

We wish you a beautiful Christmas and the happiest new year! May your hearts be filled with joy, your lives with love, and your bellies with delicious Cuban food!

¡Feliz Navidad y Buen Provecho!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Potaje de Garbanzos de Nora (Chickpea Stew)

A few weeks ago we published Nora's Garbanzos Fritos, well the day she taught us how to make them, she also taught us how to make one of Cuban cuisine's "comfort foods" - Potaje de Garbanzos. I know that for me this brings back memories of my grandmother, who as a true Spaniard could solve all your problems with a good "potaje". This is another recipe that has been requested for years, and now here it is!

After it was done, we all sat around Nora's dining room table surrounded by art and knick-knacks, and most importantly good friends. All we needed to make this a hearty late lunch was some crusty Cuban bread and a dry Spanish rosé.

Now let's get cooking!


1/4 head of Cabbage - cored and chunked
1 Ham Hock
1 Pig's Foot
1 Spanish Chorizo - chunked
1 large Onion - quartered
1 medium Green Bell Pepper - cored and split
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Potato - chunked
4 cloves Garlic - peeled and whole
1 14 oz bag Chick Peas
1/2 cup chopped Ham Steak
1/4 Tsp Cumin
1/4 Tsp ground Oregano
1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
1/4 Tsp ground Bay Leaf (or two whole bay leaves which must be removed before serving)
1 Tsp Salt


This recipe makes 8-10 servings.

Note: This recipe uses a pressure cooker. Follow the indications for your pressure cooker as needed.
  1. Rinse and soak the beans over night with the water about two inches above the beans.
  2. Drain the beans and place them in the pressure cooker.
  3. Add the ham hock, onion, pig's foot, potato, spices, bell pepper, ham and garlic.
  4. Add water to cover the ingredients by about two inches.

  1. Set pressure cooker on High until it pressurizes. 
  2. Reduce temperature maintaining pressure for 35 - 40 minutes until the beans are tender. 
  1. Release pressure. Take out and mash 1/4 cup of the cooked chick peas. 
  1. Incorporate the mash into the mixture to thicken it. 
  2. Add the cabbage.
  3. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. 
  4. Leave uncovered on Medium High for about 20 minutes until the cabbage softens and the broth thickens as desired. 

Note: To make the broth thicker, mash more beans and add to mixture to achieve desired thickness, or leave on simmer as needed to reduce liquid.

Note: If the soup is too thick, add liquid as needed.

Now you can share this delicious dish with friends and family! It's hearty enough to serve as a main dish and you can freeze the leftovers.

¡Buen provecho!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Garbanzos Fritos de Nora (Fried Chickpeas)

Last weekend, Nora once again invited us to her home, this time to teach us how to make a dish we had been wanting to include in the blog for years - Garbanzos Fritos! This versatile treat can be an appetizer, a side dish, or a main course. It's so versatile, it can be served hot, room temp or cold! Even better, it's easy to make.

We served it with a crisp Chardonnay and had a great time enjoying good friends, wine and food.


2 15.5 oz. cans of Chick Peas
1/4 cup Tomato Sauce
9 oz. Ground Chorizo (Spanish Sausage)
8 oz. Diced Ham
1 small Onion - minced
3 cloves Garlic - minced
2 Tbsp Olive Oil


This recipe makes about 8 appetizer sized servings.
  1. Drain the chick peas.
  2. Add olive oil to a skillet. When the oil is hot, add onion and garlic. 
  1. Saute until translucent.
  2. Set the temperature to Low and heat the tomato sauce, chorizo, and ham. 
  1. Fold the the chick peas into the mixture.
  2. Switch the temperature to Medium High and heat through. 

NOTE: If you prefer the chick peas "wetter", add more tomato sauce to taste.

That's it! Serve it with crusty bread as an appetizer or "tapa", a side dish, or as a main course. It also makes a great dish to take to a party - you'll be a star!

¡Buen provecho!

Monday, October 26, 2015

And now for Something Different...Again

Two years ago I told you about a foodie adventure my blog partner Cris and I enjoyed - the Miami Culinary Tours' Little Havana Food Tour. Well, last week Miami Culinary Tours' founder Grace Della invited us on their South Beach Food Tour. Since one cannot live on Cuban food alone, we happily accepted!

As is the norm for Miami Culinary Tours outings, it's not ALL about food - you get some history and culture too. So, being that we were in South Beach, which has a large collection of Art Deco buildings with some 30 blocks of hotels and apartment houses dating from the 1920s to the 1940s, we learned all about Art Deco as well.

Our tour guide Elizabeth was fantastic! A "professional foodie", with both vast experience and professional training in all things food, she not only told us what we were eating, she explained it from both a culinary and cultural perspective. She made the experience fun and informative.


Our adventure started at  Bolivar Resto Lounge, a sort of Pan-South American restaurant and bar. 

Upon arrival we were presented with a "Refajo", consisting of Beer (they used Colombian Cerveza Aguila) and Colombian cream soda Colombiana. Now, I'm neither a beer  nor cream soda person, but somehow this totally worked for me! It was refreshing and delicious.

Next came a beautiful plate with a Colombian-style empanada and some Peruvian-style ceviche. Colombian empanadas are made with yellow corn dough and filled with a variety of ingredients, ours was filled with spiced ground beef and smoked potatoes and accompanied by a very spicy jalapeño dipping sauce. The ceviche consisted of the fish sway,  marinated in lime and passion fruit juice, raw onions, cilantro and cancha (popped Peruvian corn - similar to Corn Nuts). Both paired beautifully with the Refajo.

And then, they "finished us off" with a shot of Colombian aguardiente, an anise-flavored liqueur derived from sugar cane. A perfect ending! ¡Salud!

We then took a short walk to Ocean Drive and stopped at Larios on the Beach, the acclaimed Cuban restaurant owned by Miami's own Gloria and Emilio Estefan.

The interior is gorgeous with all sorts of interesting accents and art, including this hanging sculpture made up of musical instruments that were actually played by Latin musicians including Gloria, Shakira, etc.

Upon being seated, we were served a delicious sangria which the server told us is made with red wine, rum (I know!), peach schnapps and triple sec! Needless to say it was delicious. The sangria accompanied a delicious ropa vieja (shredded seasoned beef) and mariquitas (fried green plantain chips) with a mojo dipping sauce.

They followed that up with a delicious Cuban snack - chicken croquettes! Comfort food at its best.

After all that food it was time for a nice walk and some sight-seeing. It was a gorgeous South Beach day as we walked along a bustling Ocean Drive.

We stopped across from the iconic Breakwater Hotel and Elizabeth talked about Art Deco's history in Miami Beach and pointed out its defining architectural features. Isn't it a gorgeous building?

We continued down Ocean Drive, along diners enjoying all kinds of food and drink, until we reached our next destination at The Tides, a perfect example of the Art Deco aesthetic, both inside and out.

This is part of the stunning lobby.

We learned that these chairs date back to the hotel's hey-day when they were used as beach chairs! On the sand! Can you imagine? Now they're in the bar area - makes more sense, right?

And this is the bar, where we were seated. Don't worry - the turtle shells aren't real, they are made from molds. They look so cool though, and look at the beautiful lamp! 

As to the food, it was amazing. We were served chicken curry over Israeli couscous - a dish they made especially for our tour group, accompanied by our choice of an Italian Pinot Grigio or Chilean Malbec. Elizabeth explained what spices made up our curry - the girl knows her food!

We followed that up with a walk to Blocks Pizza Deli a small and fabulous smelling spot!

There we had their specialty called Panuozzo which is like a pizza dough sandwich with different fillings, our fillings were sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, feta cheese and kalamata olives - so delicious!

Next we walked over to Española Way, a picturesque pedestrian mall with Spanish Colonial style buildings housing restaurants, bars, galleries, etc. If you've never been there, you should definitely check it out.

Our food adventure came to an end there on Española Way at the Italian Milani Gelateria.

Oh my goodness! They have a wheel of flavors from which to pick!

My friend and I chose Pistachio and "Tropical" which is a combination of pineapple, mango, passion fruit and banana. It was a perfect ending to an incredibly generous sampling of foods. 

Everyone in our group of 12 or so enjoyed the tour and left full, happy, and a little more knowledgeable about both the food we enjoyed and the beautiful area of South Beach, What more can you ask for?

So, if you have guests from out of town and you've already fed them Cuban food, take them on the Miami Culinary Tours' South Beach Food Tour. It's offered twice a day rain or shine, takes about 2.5 hours, and you'll walk about a mile with plenty of stops where you can sit down to enjoy the food and the company of your guide and tour mates. Or heck, don't wait for visitors and treat yourself - the weather is getting walking-friendly!

 ¡Buen provecho!