Brown rice gets a bad rap but if you pair it with the right spices, you will be converted. The process used to convert brown rice into white rice destroys more than half its nutrients. This rice is high in fiber, lowers cholesterol and helps prevent weight gain. What’s not to love? Serves 6.
• 1 Pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail off
• 4 Tbsp. Olive oil, divided
• 6 Garlic cloves, minced and divided
• ¼ tsp. Paprika
• 1 Cup onion, chopped
• ½ tsp. Saffron
• 1 Bay leaf
• 1-14.5 oz. Canned diced tomatoes
• 2 Cups brown rice
• 4 Cups chicken stock
• 1 Pound boneless chicken thighs
• 1-8 oz. Package Spanish chorizo, sliced
• 2 Cups snow peas
• Salt and pepper
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season shrimp with 2 tablespoons olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to cook.
2) Chop onions and slice red bell pepper.
3) Heat olive oil in a large pot that is easily transferable to a hot oven. Sauté onions until translucent add garlic and sauté for additional minute. Then add diced tomatoes, saffron and rice.
4) Mix until well blended then add chicken stock and bay leaf (we used two bouillon cubes and water to make our stock). Bring to a boil and transfer to oven for 30 minutes.
5) While rice is in the oven prepare chicken. Season with salt and pepper and sear for about 5 minutes on each side in a hot skillet with remaining olive oil.
6) Set chicken aside and in the same skillet cook sliced chorizo for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
7) After the rice has cooked for 30 minutes, remove from over. Cut chicken into 2 inch pieces. Then pour chicken and chorizo over rice and return to oven for additional 20 minutes.
8) During this time, cook shrimp (stirring occasionally) using the same skillet where you cooked chicken and chorizo. After 5 minutes, remove from heat and mix in snow peas and pepper.
9) After rice has cooked for 20 minutes, remove from oven and let sit uncovered for 5-10 minutes.
10) Add shrimp mixture to rice. Transfer to platter and serve.
Elizabeth Carrion, a Dominican, co-founded Mi Cocina, a New Jersey-based catering service that also offers cooking classes, with her sister, Ana Martinez. Follow her on Twitter: @micocinalatina and visit her website micocina-latina.com.