Saturday, September 19, 2009

Arroz Con Pollo

















Arroz con pollo means "Rice with Chicken" in Spanish. It is a classic dish of Spain and Latin America, with many different traditional ways to prepare it, unique to various countries. An arroz con pollo you find in Cuba may be quite different than one you find in Peru. Please read the comments at the end of this recipe to see some wonderful classic versions of this dish. What follows is my mother's basic arroz con pollo recipe, which she adjusts depending on her mood and what she has on hand. For instance, she might substitute chipotle chile powder or red chile powder for the paprika. We never use saffron in our arroz con pollo, but many people do. You can also add chopped bell peppers (cook with the onions) or peas (mix in at the end). It's an easy, stove-top, one pan dish, great for family meals.
INGREDIENTS
Chicken
• 3 Tbsp olive oil
• 1 broiler-fryer chicken, about 2 1/2-3 pounds, cut into serving pieces, or 2 1/2 to 3 pounds of chicken thighs or breasts, bone-in, with skin on, rinsed and patted dry
• 1/2 cup of flour for dredging
• Salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• Paprika
Rice
• 2 tablespoons olive oil (can use up to 1/4 cup)
• 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 2 cups of medium or long-grain white rice
• 3 cups* chicken stock
• 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste or 1 cup of diced fresh or cooked tomatoes, strained
• Pinch of oregano
• 1 teaspoon salt/li>
*Check the instructions on the rice package for the proportions of liquid to rice. They can range from 1:1 to 2:1. If your rice calls for 2 cups of water for every cup of rice, then for this recipe, use 4 cups of stock for 2 cups of rice.
METHOD
1 Heat 3 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet (a skillet that has a cover) on medium high heat. Put the flour in a wide bowl, mix in a generous sprinkling of salt, pepper, and paprika. Dredge the chicken pieces lightly in the flour mixture and put in the pan to brown. (You can skip the flour dredging part if you want. It just makes a nicer coating for the chicken.) Cook a few minutes on each side, just enough so that the chicken has browned. Use a slotted spoon to remove from pan and set aside.
2 Add the rice to the pan to brown. Add a little more olive oil if necessary. Stir first to coat the rice with the olive oil in the pan. Then don't stir too much or you will prevent it from browning. Let it brown and then stir a little to let more of it brown. Then add the onion and garlic. Cook the onion, garlic and rice mixture, stirring frequently, until the onions have softened, about 4 minutes.

3 Place the chicken pieces, skin-side up, on top of the rice. In a separate bowl, mix together the stock, tomato, salt, and oregano. Pour the stock mixture over the rice and chicken. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and cover. Let cook for 20-25 minutes, depending on the type of rice and the instructions on the rice package, until the rice and chicken are done. Fluff the rice with a fork. If you want you can sprinkle with some peas. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
Serves 4-6.

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Kids Healthy

Kids are taught to share their toys and snacks. Unfortunately, they also share things you’d rather have them keep to themselves — germs. Getting sick is part of growing up, but there are ways to prevent infection and illness. “The best protection is immunization against vaccine-preventable illnesses, good old hand washing, and covering coughs and sneezes,” says Lisa M. Asta, MD, an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of California-San Francisco, who practices in Walnut Creek, Calif.

Chickenpox

Getting the chickenpox used to be an expected part of childhood, but not for kids today. A vaccine against the highly contagious varicella zoster virus is now available, making the blistery, itchy rash practically a thing of the past. Dr. Asta says the vaccine protects against 90 to 95 percent of all chickenpox infections. “Children who get chickenpox after being vaccinated generally have a milder illness,” she says. Scratching can infect the skin, so apply calamine lotion to help relieve itchiness.

Fifth Disease

f your child has cold-like symptoms, then develops a rash that looks like his cheeks were slapped, he may have fifth disease. This illness generally affects kids between 5 and 15 years old and is caused by parvovirus B19, says Kimberly Parker, RN, MSN, clinical program manager for illnesses prevention at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The rash can spread to the trunk and limbs. In most kids, it’s a mild illness and doesn’t require treatment.

Measles

Although relatively rare in the United States thanks to vaccines, measles still affects 10 million people worldwide. The illness is a viral respiratory infection that causes fever, a hacking cough, and a total body rash. Measles can be serious and even fatal. The only way to prevent it is by vaccinating your child with the measles-mumps-rubella immunization (MMR). It’s given in two doses and is sometimes combined with the varicella (chickenpox) vaccine.

Mumps
he MMR vaccine also protects against the mumps, a viral infection that causes headache, loss of appetite, and fever. The most well-known sign of mumps is swollen, painful salivary glands. Mumps is usually not serious inkids, but in some cases, serious complications can occur. Before the introduction of the vaccine in 1967, mumps was a common childhood illness in the United States, causing more than 200,000 cases a year. That number is now less than 1,000 cases annually.

Rubella

MMR also protects against rubella, or German measles. “Rubella is a mild viral infection for children with fever and rash,” says Asta. However, the infection poses a real risk to unborn children. “If a woman who has not been immunized against rubella contracts the infection in early pregnancy, the fetus is at risk for severe congenital defects,” she says. Women who are not immune and are contemplating motherhood should consider getting a rubella virus vaccine at least a month before conception.

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is considered a mild viral infection that generally affects kids younger than 10. Symptoms are painful mouth sores, fever, and sometimes a rash — typically on the palms of the hands and bottoms of the feet. There is no vaccine and nearly all kids are better in a week to 10 days. Hand, foot, and mouth disease is sometimes confused with hoof and mouth disease, which strikes livestock. However, they are not related.

Ringworm

Despite its name, ringworm is not caused by a worm — it’s a fungal infection. It causes a ring-shaped, itchy rash that can affect the scalp and nails, too. Asta says it is important to get a correct diagnosis, so the right medications are used. “Your pediatrician may be able to recommend an over-the-counter treatment,” she says. Ringworm is very common and contagious, so get it treated and make sure your kids aren’t sharing towels.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is spread to people through bites from infected ticks. One distinctive sign is a bull’s-eye-shaped rash; however, not everyone gets this. Flu-like symptoms occur in early stages. Parker says that, when diagnosed early, the illness is usually successfully treated with antibiotics.Lyme disease is most common in the Northeast and upper Midwest. Using insect repellent with 20 to 30 percent DEET is good protection, but consult your child’s doctor first.
Head Lice
Once these tiny bugs make a home on your child’s scalp, they cause itchy heads and can be difficult to get rid of, says Parker, who recommends asking your doctor about medication. Lice and nits (eggs) can be removed with a fine-toothed comb. To avoid getting lice, tell your child to avoid head-to-head contact with other kids and not to share personal items, such as combs, hats, or hair ribbons.