Friday Fiesta! Arroz Valenciana for Dinner

Another one of those dishes I prepared last weekend is Arroz Valenciana. I usually cook it during Christmas and back home in Zamboanga, one will find it on the table alongside the ubiquitous lechon during fiestas. I guess I was in a festive mood last weekend for no absolute reason except trying to decongest my loaded fridge. I was also expecting my good friend Ate Liza to drop by with her kids for dinner. They were on their way to her son’s basketball event and our toddler tagged along. Unfortunately they got lured by the ever popular Jolibee. Well, we all know no kid would choose arroz Valenciana of questionable reputation over Chicken Joy, don’t we? Hahaha..

Anyhow I omitted the coconut milk and turmeric this time in favor of spaghetti sauce and paprika just like how we do in Zamboanga. Well, actually we use tomato sauce back home but I would like to use spaghetti sauce this time, just because… I would have preferred the coconut milk the way they cook Bringhe in other parts of the country but I was pretty sure hubby will be put off by a super rich and indulgent dish for dinner.

I tweaked the recipe further by using liver spread. I also marinated the chicken meat before frying but you can totally skip this step. To avoid making the rice too mushy, I used half regular rice and half glutinous rice and adjusted the liquid as I went along. But I find that a ratio of 1:1.5 (1 cup rice to 1 1/2 cup liquid) is just about right to achieve the correct texture and doneness of the rice. I used some pork meat on this dish which you can totally do without. What’s good about this recipe is you get to choose the kind of meat and seafood you like although I haven’t tried using fish and other meat yet. I tried adding squid, mussels and crabs on my last bringhe though and it was just perfect. I am sure you have better versions of this recipe but I hope you consider giving this one a try and let me know how it goes, yeah?

IMG_20170610_013822.jpg
Arroz Valenciana ala Mimi. Please excuse the poor presentation but trust me it is good though the picture doesn’t do it justice.

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked Jasmine rice, washed

1 cup uncooked glutinous rice, washed

3.5 cups of water

250 grams spaghetti sauce

Half chicken breast cut into diagonal pieces

2 pcs chorizo Bilbao cut into small diagonal pieces

A few bacon strips cut into small pieces (optional)

Half of a small can of Reno liver spread

6-10 pcs precooked prawns, unshelled

4 hardboiled eggs for garnishing

1 large potato, cut into 2 inch diagonal pieces

1 large carrot cut into 2 inch diagonal pieces

1 cup frozen peas

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 red bellpepper/capsicum

1 head of garlic chopped finely

1 large red onion, chopped

1 small piece of celery, chopped

1 large tomato, chopped

2 tsp dried parsley

2 pcs bay leaves

2 tsp paprika (for sauteing) + 1 tsp for marinating the chicken

2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper for marinating

2 tsp of vinegar for marinating

2 tbsp Patis or fish sauce

1 cube chicken bullion

Cooking oil for frying and sauteing

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Directions:

1. Marinate chicken pcs with onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt and vinegar. Set aside for 10 minutes.

2. In a thick wide mouthed pan or pot, heat 2 tbsp of cooking oil. Fry potatoes and carrots. Set aside.

3. Fry chicken pcs just enough to brown the sides and get slightly cooked. Set aside.

4. On the same pan, fry bacon to render fat then move them to one side. Saute garlic, onion and celery until they are soft. Then add in tomatoes; cover for a minute.

5. Once the tomatoes are softened, add in dried parsley, paprika and capsicum. At this point you may also add the fried chicken pcs, chorizo Bilbao and bay leaves. Stir to combine ingredients and cover for a minute or two.

6. Pour in spaghetti sauce and water. Season with patis, black pepper and chicken bullion. Allow to boil for a minute.

7. Add in rice and stir. Allow to boil, stirring occasionally to avoid clumps.

8. Once the rice is slightly cooked and liquids reduced, add the potatoes, carrots, frozen peas, raisins and cooked shrimps. Simmer at low heat with pan covered.

8. After 10 minutes or so, check for doneness of the rice. They should look translucent and feel soft and sticky but not mushy. Most of the time there will be crusting at the bottom of the pan, that should be fine.

9. Transfer unto a platter and serve garnished with wedges of hardboiled eggs.

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