I was amazed when I saw this recipe online. And from the website of Columbia Restaurant itself! I felt that it was very generous of them to share the recipes of their delicious fares online.
My family loves Columbia restaurant. We have been to three of their seven locations, and all of them are quite phenomenal. Our favorite, though, is the historic Ybor City branch where they feature Flamenco dancers every Monday to Thursday at 7:30pm. But of course, we don't go there for the dancing. We go there for the food!
Anyway, I was thinking of making regular Yellow Rice and Chicken, but I didn't have saffron, so I took the short cut again - using pre-packaged yellow rice. As I was browsing for recipes online, I stumbled at Columbia's recipe, and decided to copy bits and pieces of it. I was really excited, the prospect of making those delicious recipes in my kitchen was just too much! A serving of Arroz con Paella Valenciana at Columbia is $24.95 (not including tax and tip), but I could make it at a fraction of the cost at home.
And as expected, it was delicious!!! All that was missing was the Flamenco dancers, the fine ambiance and the polite waiters. But even though the restaurant's recipes are online for home cooks to reproduce, I still encourage you to try Columbia Restaurant's authentic Cuban dishes. No, this is not a sponsored post. I just happen to like the resto and am spreading the love. :-)
P.S. Don't forget to try their Boliche Criollo and 1905 Salad!
What you need:
1 pkg (16 oz) Vigo yellow rice
4 cups chicken broth
1 lb chicken breast, cut in cubes
4 pieces chorizo, coined
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1/4 Vidalia onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup peas
1 tomato, sliced
2 tablespoons white wine
pinch of salt
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
What to do:
Cook yellow rice according to package directions. However, substitute water with chicken broth.
Heat olive oil in a wok over medium-high. Saute garlic and onion for about a minute. Add chicken and continue cooking until chicken starts to brown.
Add the bell pepper, peas, tomato slices, and chorizo. Season with salt. Pour in the white wine, and cook for another five minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer the cooked rice to the pot and mix well. Serve hot.
Tips, Tricks and Tweaks:
1. Original recipe called for asparagus tips, and roasted red bell pepper. I tweaked my recipe.
2. Substitute chorizo with smoked sausage.
3. Since you are dealing with poultry, cross contamination may happen. Make sure you always wash your hands when handling raw chicken, and use a separate cutting board that you use ONLY for chicken.