Arroz Con Pollo Bites
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons annatto seeds
- 2 medium-sized chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 small red pepper, seeded, cored and finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup short-grain Spanish rice
- 1 1/4 cups chicken stock or broth
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup canola oil
- 2 green (unripe) plantains
- 1/2 cup mixed pitted olives
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves
In a small pot combine the olive oil and annatto seeds. Heat over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Strain the seeds from oil and discard the seeds. Reserve 1/2 cup of the oil for the Roasted Pork with Citrus Mojo Marinade recipe and 1/4 cup for the Arroz Con Pollo Bites.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat 2 tablespoons of the annatto oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken on all sides and transfer to plate. To the same skillet add the remaining 2 tablespoons annatto oil, the onion, pepper, and garlic and saute for 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and add the cooked chicken. Cover, turn the heat to low and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Slice the top and bottom inch off of each plantain. Slice through the skin from the top down to the bottom on each side of each plantain. Peel the skin off in strips and slice the plantain into 1-inch thick slices. Fry the plantain slices 3 minutes on each side. Remove and drain on a paper towel lined sheet tray. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Smash the plantains with the backside of a large metal spoon or with a small skillet. Put the plantains back in the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
To assemble; put a teaspoon of the olive tapenade onto a fried plantain. Top with a tablespoon of rice. Put a piece of chicken on top and a little more of the olive tapenade, for garnish. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Arrange the bites on a serving platter, sprinkle with freshly chopped cilantro and serve.
Recipe courtesy Brian Boitano