A Cuban Feast: Arroz Imperial Con Pollo
This is the perfect starter dish for the aspiring Cuban chef!
As I mentioned in my black beans post, I am half Cuban, and very proud–especially of our culinary heritage! We got the best flavors from Spain, from the Caribbean, and from Africa all in one culture! It is truly delicious and if you’ve never enjoyed a Cuban dish, this is a FANTASTIC starter recipe!
As I mentioned before, my sister and her in-laws were just in town for my wedding and they treated my family to a true Cuban feast! The funny thing is I have never even had this dish before and, by-the-way…it’s not even really Cuban! It’s actually a traditional Central American dish that was enjoyed by the upper class in the colonial times. However, this dish has become very popular by Miami-based-Cubans who typically eat it for special occasions like bridal or baby showers, luncheons or other celebrations. My sister and her in-laws have had it many times and I was so happy that I would be eating it for the first time with them
Not only is this dish colorful but it is bursting with flavor! Be careful you can eat A LOT of this!
When I heard what was in it (namely cheese and mayonnaise) I was very skeptical that is was going to taste like the typical, flavorful Cuban dishes I’ve known, but I was pleasantly surprised! I would best describe it as a richer version of Arroz Con Pollo (chicken and yellow rice). It takes a bit of prep time but that is typical of most Cuban dishes; it takes time to develop those flavors! I definitely suggest making this recipe for a family get-together because it feeds an army–but take my advise and make sure there are leftovers because (like all Cuban dishes) it tastes better a day later!
I have to give BIG props to my older sister who whipped this dish up surprisingly quickly and it tasted SOOOOO freaking good, we all had second and third helpings! She served it with a typical Cuban side salad (I will post that soon), fresh bread, and fried plantains! QUE RICO!
Boiling the chicken with onion and garlic imparts flavor to the chicken while preparing it for shredding.