Cuban-style Chicken and Rice


1 lime, cut in half
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1 green bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped (1 to 1-1/2 cups)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup pimento-stuffed manzanilla olives, sliced
1/2 cup plain tomato sauce or canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
12 ounces light (as in pale) beer
2 cups chicken broth
1-1/4 cups uncooked long-grain white rice, rinsed
a baby pinch of saffron threads


  1. Squeeze the juice of both lime halves all over the chicken thighs, then season both sides of the thighs generously with salt and pepper. Let them sit for a couple minutes while you prep the rest of your ingredients.
  2. Drizzle the oil into a Dutch oven or another large, heavy-bottomed, ovenproof saucepan and heat over medium heat. Brown the chicken, skin sides down, for 8 to 10 minutes until golden and crisped, and then again for 8 minutes on the meat sides. Transfer them to a plate.
  3. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of rendered chicken fat into a heatproof container (for saving or discarding once the fat has cooled) and then dump the onion, bell pepper and garlic into the remaining rendered fat in the pot. Cook until the veggies have softened and the onion is slightly translucent, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the olives, tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, cumin and the bay leaf. Cook, stirring every now and then, for 3 minutes.
  5. Pour the beer into the pot. Add the broth, rice, saffron threads and the teaspoon of kosher salt, and stir. Increase the heat to medium-high; bring everything to a boil, then reduce to low.
  6. Barely tuck in those crisped chicken thighs, skin sides up, partially cover the pot and cook low and slow until the rice has absorbed nearly all the liquid, 30 minutes.
  7. Toss out the bay leaf and let everything rest for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Washington Post