Place 1/2 cup of olive oil in small pan and add the achiote. Heat on medium heat until bubbles form, then remove from heat and let steep. Drain achiote seeds from oil (should be a vibrant reddish-orange color). Place oil in large stockpot. Heat oil on high and place chicken pieces in pot and brown - this is done just to brown chicken NOT to cook it. Remove chicken from pot Place diced onions, garlic, and peppers in pot with the achiote. Saute until soft (do not burn garlic). Put capers in pot and cook for a while with the onion mixture. Add rice to the pot with garlic, peppers, garlic and capers, then swirl rice into the mixture. Let the rice cook for just about a minute. Place cut up cilantro and basil in pot. Add in chicken broth and make sure you scrape the pot. Add chicken pieces back in. Put olives in and mix. Place bay leaves in pot. Check for seasonings (Please note: add salt and pepper at the end). Let the mixture cook on medium heat until the rice is done. Add peas just before serving.
In another medium pot place peeled asparagus in water and boil until they turn bright green. Place in ice bath to stop the cooking process.
To serve, place rice and chicken in a large platter. Arrange chicken pieces around platter and rice in the center. Place cooked asparagus around the platter and then place pimentos in the center.
Serve with tostones (recipe follows).
Peel plantains and cut at an angle. Place in cold water with salt. In a large frying pan put in 1/2 cup oil (preferably peanut oil ). Place plantains in pan and cook until somewhat soft (they will turn a lovely pale yellow color). Take them out of the pan and smash each one between 2 pieces of foil (folded 2 or 3 times to make a thick pad - place 2 paper towels on top of foil so that you don't burn yourself). Return to frying pan (you may have to add more oil). Fry until crisp and then season with salt. Serve with rice and chicken - or just about anything!
A viewer or guest of the show, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Ginger Mareno