Key ingredients you'll need:
*Sofrito (recipe to follow)
Sazón seasoning (made by Goya; found in the spices or ethnic section)
Adobo seasoning (can also be found with spices or ethnic section of grocery store)
Other Ingredients you'll need:
4 large boneless or bone-in chicken breasts, rinsed
2 bay leaves
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (optional)
4 cups water
2 cups long grain white rice
salt and pepper
2 yellow onions, peeled
1 green bell pepper, seeded
1 bunch of cilantro
2 whole bulbs of garlic, peeled
dusting of adobo or bijol seasoning
In a food processor or blender, coat the bottom of the blender with some olive oil. Add all of the above ingredients and blend until mixture becomes a puree. If the blades of the blender stick, add a bit more olive oil, stir and blend again. This will make a lot of sofrito, so set 1 cup aside for the recipe and then place the rest in a freezer container and reserve for later cooking =) (I divided mine out into an ice cube tray (thanks for the idea Ryan!), that way I can thaw out a little at a time as I'm ready to use it).
Adobo Chicken and Rice
In a large stock pot, combine chicken breasts, sofrito, adobo, sazón, bay leaves, potatoes, salt, pepper and water and bring to a boil. Once chicken comes to a boil, lower heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Turn chicken over, cover and simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through. (In this recipe, the sole purpose of the potatoes is for the natural starch of the potatoes to thicken the chicken stock as they cook. If you don't have potatoes, once the chicken is finished cooking, you can thicken the stock by simply reserving 1/2 cup of hot stock - allow it to cool slightly. Whisk in 2 Tbsp. of corn starch and then pour the mixture back into the stock pot. Stir everything together, and chicken stock should thicken slightly.)
Meanwhile, in an aluminum nonstick pot, drizzle about 3 Tbsp of olive oil. Heat olive oil and add 2 cups of rice. Season with salt. Stir rice until it's evenly coated with olive oil and warmed through. Add water to pot and bring water to a boil. Once it's to a boil, lower it to a simmer and stir every few minutes. Once the water is completely absorbed, continue stirring until the rice is barely moist and begins to stick together. *If the rice isn't completely tender, gradually add more water (about 1/4 of a cup at a time) and stir continuously until water is fully absorbed and rice is sticky.
Plate a generous portion of rice and top it off with cooked chicken breast and spoon over sauce.
Enjoy this Puerto Rican dish - your taste buds will definitely thank you =)