2 whole chickens
2 garlic cloves
1 bitter orange
1/3 cup of olive oil
1 large green bell pepper
1 large onion
1 small can tomato sauce
2 jars of red pimento (or broil red peppers with olive oil, peel, cool)
1 can sweet peas
1 can asparagus spears (or use fresh, cooked to your taste)
2 Tbsp salt (you may want less, to taste)
Ĺ tsp pepper (or to taste)
1 bay leaf
3 Ĺ cups of cooking wine (or use beer instead)
2 cups of chicken stock
2 lbs of rice (8 cups)
Saffron for coloring (1 or 2 threads if good from Spain or Turkey, much more if local)
Make chicken stock or use the canned or bouillon
Cut the chicken in quarters (I do it in eights if chickens are big) and season ahead of time with mashed garlic and bitter orange (if you canít find bitter orange, mix unsweetened orange juice with lemon juice to taste). Heat oil and brown chicken (if you have lots of chicken you have to do this in batches, as I brown them I put them in the big pan that will go into oven, you can also do all of the cooking on the stove top).
If cooking everything on top of stove:
Add to pan with the chicken, the onion, cut small; bell pepper, cut small; tomato sauce, can of pimientos with their liquid, the liquid from peas and asparagus, salt, pepper, bay leaf, saffron, wine (or beer), broth/stock and water. (you have to measure the liquid so you have enough for the 8 cups of rice that you will be making) Wash and soak the rice. When chicken is half-way cooked, add the rice. Cook at low heat until the rice grain is open and cooked. Add peas, garnish with pimientos, asparagus, peas and hard boiled eggs (I donít add these). Serves 8.
If cooking in oven:
Distribute the chicken on the baking pan; add onion, bell pepper, pimientos (if you wish). The liquid (tomato sauce, liquid form the peas and pimientos, chicken stock, wine/beer and water has to be measured and added together. Add salt and pepper to taste, add bay leaf, saffron to mix. Add rice NOW as well and mix it well in the pan. Put in oven at 375F or whatever you use to bake chicken. After 45 minutes, check and stir to make sure all of the rice is covered with water. How long will this take? It is all a function of the rice Ė is it old? Takes longer.
If doing in oven and you donít have time, skip the step that calls for browning the chicken prior to adding everything else. Just bake everything at once!!