Slightly reminiscent of paella, this aromatic chicken and rice is a favorite meal for Arlene DeMelo, a Portuguese home cook in Hyannis, Massachusetts. Because the chicken slowly absorbs its seasonings for 8 hours, you'll need to think ahead.
8 chicken drumsticks (about 2 pounds)
8 chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed with a mallet (optional)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
Generous dash liquid hot sauce
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
3-1/2 cups water
1 cup long-grain white rice
1. Place the drumstick and thighs, skin side up, in a baking dish large enough to hold them in one layer.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, cinnamon, red pepper, fennel, salt, black pepper, and hot sauce. Rub the spice mixture over the chicken, and then scatter the garlic on top. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
3. In a large flameproof casserole, heat the oil and cook the onion with a pinch of salt over medium heat, stirring often, for 10 minutes, or until softened. Add the chicken and brown it in the onion mixture, turning often. Add 1/2 cup of the water and cook the chicken, still turning often, for 15 minutes.
4. Add the remaining 3 cups water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to medium-low and partially cover the pan. Cook the chicken, turning it occasionally, for 45 minutes, or until it is cooked through. Skim the fat from the cooking liquid several times as it rises to the surface.
5. Add the rice and cover the pan. Cook over low heat for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Taste for seasoning, add more salt and pepper, if you like, and serve.
Adapted from The Way We Cook: Recipes from the New American Kitchen by Sheryl Julian and Julie Riven.
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