This recipe doesn't have exact portions, but it turns out yummy. Worth the work.
cast iron dutch oven or enameled cast iron dutch oven with tight-fitting lid (cast iron lid is ideal but pyrex lid is OK too as long as it fits snugly)
simmer ring (optional but recommended for the last stage of cooking)
> skinned chicken thighs, 1 or two per person (I like the more flavorful dark meat, plus it is less likely to overcook)
> chorizo sausage – one sausage per person (???) - optional but highly recommended
> oil for browning the chicken pieces (I used olive oil)
> sofrito – about ¾ to 1 cup (figure about ½ cup sofrito per cup of raw rice) - see next post in this thread for recipe
> achiote oil (aka annatto oil) – about 1-2 TBS (depends on how much oil you leave in the pot – 1 TBS is about right for 1-1/2 cups raw rice) - Achoite oil is made by steeping whole annatto seeds in warm oil - see bottom of this post for more info and link to recipe
> 2 or 3 cored, skinned tomatoes, roughly chopped (I like plum tomatoes)
> long grain white rice – 1-½ to 2 cups raw rice (or more - it depends on the number of people you want to serve and how much they like rice - 1/2 cup raw rice yeilds 1 cup cooked)
> chicken broth – a little less than 2x the amount of raw rice - remember the tomatoes and sofrito contribute some liquid also as they cook down
> a few bay leaves (optional)
> salt and fresh ground pepper
If you don't have sofrito in your freezer, make it now. See the next post in this thread for sofrito recipe. If you have previously made and frozen sofrito, remove it from the freezer now (it does not have to be completely defrosted to use). See INGREDIENTS section of this recipe for how much sofrito you will need.
Dry chicken pieces thoroughly. Rub with salt and fresh-ground pepper. Set aside.
Peel and chop tomatoes. (If you don't already have achiote oil, you can make it now so it will be ready when needed.) The sofrito should already be made.
Add oil to dutch oven. Heat to medium and saute chicken pieces on both sides until lightly browned on all sides. Do this in two stages if necessary so you don't crowd the pan. Remove to platter. Pour out oil and discard.
Brown sausage in the same dutch oven over medium heat until lightly browned on all sides. Remove to platter. Discard any excess fat. (You add additional oil in the next step; all you want to do is keep the nice brown bits on the bottom of the pot from the chicken and sausage)
Add achiote oil to dutch oven. Add the sofrito to the oil in the casserole, cook over medium heat until soft but do not brown, about 1 or 2 minutes. Add the diced fresh tomato and cook for one more minute.
Add broth to dutch oven. Throw in some bay leaves at this point if you want to. Bring to a boil. Taste for salt at this point and add more if needed.
While the liquid is coming to a boil, measure and rinse the rice - this eliminates any surface starch so the rice is less likely to get gummy during cooking.
Add the rice and cook over medium heat, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes, stirring until the rice is semi-dry but some liquid remains. The liquid should be at a medium boil. At the end of this stage, the rice should still be somewhat hard at the center.
Bury the chicken and sausage in the rice. Cover and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes. The liquid should be *barely* simmering. (If you have a simmer ring, this is the stage to use it, since a thick dutch oven stores a lot of heat and is slow to cool down.) Turn the rice and the chicken and sausage over with a fork from bottom to top; cover and simmer for about another 10 minutes or until the chicken and sausage are cooked through but still moist and rice is done.
Achiote oil (aka annatto oil) is made with olive oil and annatto seeds. It is easy to make if you can find seeds. Googling for either of those terms yeilds lots of recipes. They're all similar. Here's a link to the one I use Daisy Cooks! with Daisy Martinez
except I halve the recipe since I don't use it all the time.
ADJUSTED RECIPE FOR ACHIOTE OIL (from above link)
Makes about 1/2 cup
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon achiote (annatto) seeds
Heat the oil and annatto seeds in a small skillet over medium heat just until the seeds give off a lively, steady sizzle. Don't overheat the mixture or the seeds will turn black and the oil a nasty green. Once they're sizzling away, pull the pan from the heat and let stand until the sizzling stops. Strain as much of the oil as you are going to use right away into the pan; store the rest for up to 4 days at room temperature in a jar with a tight fitting lid.
Annatto seeds look like this
SOFRITO: My sofrito is a combination of finely minced onion, garlic cloves, cubanello (or green) peppers and lots of fresh cilantro. It is not cooked. I've posted the sofrito recipe I use as the 2nd reply in this thread. I use a food processor to make the sofrito (if you're determined and good with a knife you can make it by hand). Sofrito (and it's sister, Recaito) is an ingredient in many Latino dishes. Searching on either term turns up lots of variations.