Arroz con chorizo…I’ve never had this combination before, but I had some ingredients sitting around the house and wanted to use them in a new way. We have four (four!) packages of chorizo in the fridge that I’ve been meaning to cook with, but kept putting off.
Earlier yesterday, I had asked my wife to pick up some jalapenos and onions at the grocery store. Jalapenos are dirt cheap here: 79 cents a pound (or less). My first foray into cooking yesterday was a bean dip made from black beans, jalapenos, half an onion and some other spices put into the food processor. It was delicious with chips, but with dinner looming, I needed to add the other half of the equation: rice.
Sadly, I didn’t take a picture of my dip, but this is what the blog Two Peas and Their Pod pinned of the recipe, which I followed almost perfectly (I had no limes and subbed lemon juice, and had no garnish or cheese either).
First: the Bacon
This all began by frying two strips of bacon, as recipes often do. This gave me a nice bit of rendered fat for cooking my chorizo in, as well as some nice bits of smoky flavor for the meal.
(We found 27 lbs of bacon marked down to 99 cents per package a few weeks ago at the store, and backed up the truck. So the bacon cost of this dish was only 12 cents!)
Second: Rice and veggies
We use a rice cooker for our rice, and once it was done cooking I took out half for the kids. They love their rice with soy sauce, and they added some day old meatballs to it for their dinner. Ours was going to have a little more kick than the kids like, so I set some plain rice aside for them.
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I have fried onions and garlic in nearly every meal I’ve made lately, but I didn’t think fried onions would do well in this one. Instead, I diced half an onion and two jalapenos and set them aside. I brought out the giant jar of minced garlic that I think is a must for every cook, but actually forgot to add it (I’m grateful in this case).
I took the rice (one cup of dry rice before cooking) and put it into a 3 inch pan, and added about 12 ounces of chicken broth. Better than Bouillion is my go to stock, and I recommend it heartily. I stirred the rice and added the jalapenos and onions, but my goal was not to cook the veggies, but to keep them crisp and juicy:
I then sprinkled about 1 tsp of smoked paprika on top.
The pork chorizo had been cooking in the bacon grease. Here’s an unflattering photo of chorizo, which is delicious to eat but ugly to behold.There was a lot of splattering going on during the cooking, and I didn’t want my phone to get greasy, so this is the meat poured onto a small plate.
At this point, I diced up the fried bacon and added the bits into the rice. The chicken stock was evaporating and the rice was getting the chicken flavor soaked in. I was planning on serving the two side by side, but on a whim, I thought I’d mix up some chorizo with the rice and see what that tasted like.
Can I mention, the skillet was absolutely perfect for cooking the chorizo?
Anyway, the result was one of the most incredible foods I have ever made. There were layers of flavor I’m not used to creating. The first flavor was a mild saltiness from the chicken stock that didn’t overpower (I’ve made stuff with too much salt lately and it’s ruined a few dishes). Next there was a smokiness from the paprika and bacon that raised this from a kitchen sink recipe to something deeper. The raw onions added a hint of sweet, and then there was quite a kick of heat from the jalapenos and the chorizo that really finished it off.
This plate was supposed to have more on it, but we just ate a few helpings of this arroz con chorizo, because it was that good.
Recipe for Arroz con Chorizo
1 cup rice, cooked
12-15 ounces chicken stock
2 ounces bacon, fried and diced
1 lb chorizo
2 jalapenos, chopped with seeds removed
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 tsp smoked paprika
Fry the bacon and set aside. Cook chorizo in bacon grease. Meanwhile, add cooked rice to chicken stock in a three inch pan over medium heat for two minutes. Add bacon, jalapenos, onion, and paprika to rice and stir. Add chorizo to rice, stir, serve.