Posted by: lornasass | November 19, 2009



Spicy chorizo sausage gives lots of character to this simplified version of Spanish arroz con pollo, while pimento-stuffed green olives and sweet paprika add Iberian charm. This is a very agreeable and couldn’t-be-easier dish to serve company.

Take note of the TRANSFORMATIONS below which show you how, with some minor changes to the recipe, you can make Chicken or Seafood Jambalaya or Paella.



1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped onions

6 ounces diced chorizo or other spicy cured sausage (about 1½ cups)

2 cups long-grain white rice

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

1 cup chicken broth

2 large bay leaves

1 teaspoon salt

1½ pounds boneless, skinned chicken breasts, thighs or a combination, cut into 1-inch chunks

One can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes, including liquid

½ cup small pimento-stuffed green olives

1 roasted red bell pepper (see NOTE, or use storebought), seeded and diced

1 teaspoon dried thyme

Freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Heat the oil in a 4-quart or larger cooker. Add the onion and chorizo and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the onion begins to soften, about 2 minutes.

Stir in the rice and paprika, taking care to coat the rice with the oil. Stir in the broth, bay leaves, and salt. Scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the cooker. Stir in the chicken. Pour the tomatoes and their liquid on top. Do not stir after adding the tomatoes.

Lock the lid in place. Over high heat bring to high pressure. Reduce the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat. Allow the pressure to come down naturally for 6 minutes. Quick-release any pressure remaining in the cooker. Remove the lid, tilting it a away from you to allow steam to escape.

Quickly stir in the olives, red pepper, and thyme. Immediately replace the lid and steam in the residual heat until rice is tender, usually no more than a minute or two.

Stir well to distribute the ingredients. Remove bay leaves. Add salt and pepper to taste. If there is any unabsorbed liquid, use a slotted spoon to serve. Garnish individual portions with parsley.


Add 1 cup frozen peas or cooked black beans when you add olives.

Add 1 to 2 teaspoons hot paprika or ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes along with sweet paprika.

Transformations (Follow basic recipe except as noted)

Chicken Jambalaya: Omit chorizo. Add 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and finely diced, along with chicken. While rice is cooking, slice and pan-fry 12 ounces andouille or other fully cooked smoked sausage. Stir into cooked rice (along with red pepper). Omit olives. Pass Tabasco sauce at the table.

Seafood and Chicken Jambalaya: Prepare Chicken Jambalaya above and add ½ pound unpeeled medium or large shrimp along with chicken.

Seafood and Chicken Paella: Soak ¼ teaspoon saffron threads in 2 teaspoons warm water for 10 minutes. Add along with chicken broth. Add ¾ pound medium shrimp (shelling optional), large scallops, or a combination, when you add chicken.


Roasting Red Peppers: Set each pepper on a grid raised above a gas burner and turn the heat to high. Rotate with tongs until thoroughly charred. (If using an electric oven, cut the peppers in half, remove the seeds, and core. Press firmly to flatten. Set cut side down, under the broiler, as close to the broiling element as possible.) Wrap each charred pepper in a wet paper towel and enclose in a plastic bag to steam. When cool, use the paper towel to rub off the skin. Remove core and seeds. If not using the peppers immediately, toss in olive oil and refrigerate in a tightly sealed container for up to 5 days.


Adapted from Pressure Perfect, copyright Lorna Sass, 2009

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