2. In a soup pot, heat the olive oil achiote. Add remaining 3 tablespoons sofrito. Cook for 2 minutes.
3. Add chicken. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently to ensure that all the pieces of chicken are seasoned. Continue cooking a few minutes more until the chicken is opaque.
4. Add the white wine and tomato sauce and stir well, then add the rice, water, capers, olives, bay leaves, oregano, and salt. Return the mixture to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered, 20 to 25 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Whir all ingredients for the sofrito in a blender until chopped. Store in the refrigerator in a tight-lidded container.
Grind all the ingredients together in a mortar and pestle to make a paste.
In a cast-iron or heavy skillet, heat 1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil. When very hot, add annatto seeds. Turn heat to low, continue cooking, stirring frequently, for approximately 5 minutes, until oil is a rich orange-red color. Allow to cool, then strain into a clean glass container. Set aside.
Variation: Add 2 cups (1/2 pound) walnut or pecan pieces to the batter.
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From Las Christmas: Favorite Latino Authors Share Their Holiday Memories, edited by Esmeralda Santiago and Joie Davidow.