Raúl: Many people serve Imperial Rice as a side dish, but it is good enough to be served as a main dish.
Jorge: It's not that hard to make!
Glenn: Don't let the rather long list of ingredients scare you! You can do everything in this recipe with less than 35 minutes prep time.
Raúl: And that includes drinking a beer or two!
Imperial Rice, a delicious chicken and rice dish with a unique twist -- an infusion of cheese and a gooey melted cheese top.
(Chicken Mixture)3 pounds chicken thighs, skin on
Rice Ingredients -- SEE BELOW
Wash chicken and place in an 8-quart stockpot. Add approximately 8 cups of water to fully cover meat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, until the meat is tender and falls from boneapproximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Remove chicken and keep the broth. (You will use some of the broth to make the rice.) Skim excess fat from broth! When completely cooled, skin and break the chicken into small pieces by hand. (Feed chicken skin to dog or other suitable receptacle.)
Sauté the bacon briefly in a large sauté pan. Drain most, but not all, of the excess fat. You can blot it up with a paper towel.
Add a tiny bit of olive oil and heat. Add onion, green pepper, green onions, and oregano. Sauté until the onions are translucent.
Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute, stirring occasionally. Add tomato sauce, chicken, and sherry. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, approximately 15 minutes to thicken the sauce.
Add peas and lime juice during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Salt and pepper to taste. TASTE IT! Set aside.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
7 cups chicken broth (from the cooked chicken above)
4 cups parboiled rice
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Bijol powder
Mix the rice with the chicken broth in a large covered 3-quart saucepan; add salt and Bijol powder for colorif you can’t get this locally, use a little yellow food coloring.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is thoroughly cooked and most of the broth absorbed.
7 tablespoons real mayonnaise
2/3 cup (approximately) grated Parmesan cheese (for a sharper taste, use half Parmesan, half Romano)
1/2 pound Monterey Jack or other mild white cheese, grated
Add the mayonnaise a little at a time to the cooked rice, mixing thoroughly. Take a third of the rice and cover the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan.
Layer chicken mixture on top of the rice, and then add a layer of the mayonnaise/rice mixture.
Generously sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top of this layer. Add the remaining rice. Again, sprinkle Parmesan cheese on the top layer.
Spread grated Monterey Jack or another mild white cheese completely over the top.
Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese melts completely and bubbles, browning slightly.
Serves 8 to 10
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