Spanish Rice with Pigeon Peas (Arroz con Gandules)

Arroz con gandules, or rice with peas is a staple in most Puerto Rican and Caribbean households. It’s one of my favorite dishes to order in Spanish restaurants and I finally decided to try making it on my own. It came out so good I ate it as a main dish instead of a side! This recipe features sofrito, a savory mixture of tomatoes, peppers, garlic, and other veggies and spice. Sofrito is often the starting point for Latin cuisine and can be spicy or mild. It looks and smells so good, I sometimes eat a small spoonful right out of the jar when I’m making this dish. 🙂 — L. Weal

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup diced cooked ham or pork
1/2 cup sofrito
1 1/2 cups long grain rice
3 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons sazón seasoning (or 1 store-bought packet)
15 ounces canned pigeon peas, drained
1/2 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced

large (5-quart) pot with lid
measuring cups

1. Heat oil in pot over medium-high heat. Add sofrito and diced meat. Stir 1 minute.
2. Add rice, stock, and sazón to the pot and stir well.
3. Bring rice to boil, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low.
4. Simmer 30 minutes, or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
5. Stir in olives, cover, and let stand 5 minutes.

• Check rice after the first 20 minutes. If it’s too dry, add more stock or water; too wet, uncover rice for the last few minutes of cooking.

40 minutes

3 – 4 servings

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