A great “Arroz con Gandules”

Arroz con Gandules

These ten secrets for a great rice and pigeons are kept in my heart and in my kitchen…they are the secrets inherited from my mom’s side grandma and my dad’s side grandpa.

I promise that if you follow them step by step you will remember me and everyone who taste your rice will fall in love with your seasoning this Christmas!

  1. A good sofrito (if you don’t have it already made, you can always chop in small pieces as many ingredients of this seasoning as you can find).
  2. Start by browning pork ribs or pork loin pieces for 20 minutes. Don’t forget to season the pork with salt, pepper and fresh mashed garlic.
  3. This step might sound anti-diet but is totally worth it! Brown some chopped bacon or cooking ham shoulder pieces in the pot where you will cook the rice and then make the rice with the released fat from the bacon or ham.  This will give much more flavor to the rice.
  4. Once the pork is done add the sofrito (in that same oil), cilantro and annatto seasoning (one packet for each can of pigeons) and tomato sauce or paste (1-2 teaspoons for each can of pigeons). Let all these ingredients cook for 5-10 minutes in medium-low temperature.
  5. The most powerful secret is to use fresh pigeons but since they are not always available, I’m giving you this tip: Add the pigeons with the liquid in the can and let boil for 5-10 minutes at medium temperature and then get them ‘’drunk’’ with beer (about 2 splashes for each can of pigeons) Then add some grated green plantain (1/4 of a plantain for each can of pigeons).
  6. 6. You should add some stuffed olives (10 for each can of pigeons), fresh chopped cilantro and fresh cilantro leaves…these ones are extremely necessary to achieve the perfect seasoning.
  7. After all these ingredients and flavors blend, then add the rice. For each 2-3 cups of rice you’ll need one can of pigeons and one can of water for each cup of rice (if it’s long grain rice then add 1 ¼ can of water for each cup of rice).
  8. Don’t forget to taste the water of the rice while is boiling to check the salt.
  9. And... the magic touch: cover it with green plantain leaves before putting the lid of the pot on… that will give it a unique flavor just as our grandmothers use to make it. You can usually find these leaves frozen at the supermarket and you will only need to thaw them, cut them and warm them a little bit before using them.
  10. Once ready, you can decorate the rice with fresh cilantro and red bell peppers. Another good option is to serve it on a plate over plantain leaves.

You will see that rice with pigeons with Christmas flavor or grandma’s flavor won’t bite you ever again. This rice with my “guineitos en escabeche” will turn on the party in your kitchen ... buen provecho!!!

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