Here's a spin on arroz con pollo. It has the feel and the flavor of the traditional dish, but with cauliflower "rice" substituted for the usual grains. So I'm calling it "pollo sin arroz". It lends itself readily to the crock pot, which I pretty much always choose over the stove or oven if I can get the convenience without sacrificing flavor and texture. Bonus: it's a one-pot meal with meat and veggies.
I used my normal trick of microwaving the aromatics with a bit of fat to deepen the flavor before slow cooking without having to saute. I also used tomato paste instead of puree since the juice released by the chicken does not evaporate in the crock pot. Finally, I stuck with boneless skinless thighs for the meat. I think that skin and bones get gross when stewed, and thighs don't dry out in the slow cooker like white meat.
SLOW COOKER POLLO SIN ARROZ
Serves about 4
Serves about 4
- 1 head cauliflower, made into "rice" (I use the blender method)
- 8-10 boneless skinless chicken thighs (2.5-3 lbs)
- 1 onion, diced (about a cup)
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
- 3 oz tomato paste (I bought a 6 oz can and eyeballed half of it)
- 2 Tbs olive oil, divided use
- 2 Tbs red wine vinegar, divided use
- 1 Tbs capers
- 1/2 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, halved (about a 4 oz jar)
- 1 small bunch cilantro, leaves only, minced (about 2 Tbs)
- 1.5 tsp salt (divided use)
- 1 tsp ground black pepper (divided use)
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the onion, garlic, oregano, and 1 Tbs olive oil. Nuke on high for 2.5 minutes, stir, then nuke for another 2.5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste (it's easiest to combine while it's still hot), green bell pepper, red pepper flakes, and capers. Set aside.
- Put the chicken thighs in your slow cooker. Toss with 1 Tbs vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Scrape in the onion mixture and stir to combine, nestling the chicken thighs in the sauce.
- Cook on low for 4-6 hours (preferably closer to 4).
- Turn the crock pot up to high. Put the cauliflower "rice" in a large microwave-safe bowl. Nuke on high for 2 minutes, stir, then nuke an additional 2 minutes. Stir the cauliflower and olives into the slow cooker and let it cook for a few minutes until fully softened. You can skip the microwaving step if you'd like but it'll take 30-45 minutes to cook.
- While the cauliflower "rice" simmers, combine the remaining oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl with cilantro. Before serving, stir the cilantro mixture into the crock pot.
- Serve; I like mine drenched with Cholula hot sauce, but if you want to get fancy, dollops of homemade chimichurri sauce (recipe) would be awesome.