How to Transform Your Leftover Arroz con Pollo into Something Wonderful
If you’re a fan of Hispanic food, you’re no doubt familiar with arroz con pollo. Chicken and rice, as the dish is known in English, has its roots in so-called Moorish Spain of the 700’s. During the eighth century, Muslim invaders from North Africa stormed across the Mediterranean into the Iberian peninsula, bringing with them language, architecture, and most importantly for our story, spices and rice, as Agozar, a Spanish restaurant based in New York City, writes.
Saffron, cumin, and coriander — the latter of which is cilantro seed — traveled with the Moors, and when it arrived in Spain, it lead to a world of new recetas de comidas. Arroz con pollo is just the most famous, having made its way to Mexico, Cuba, and all other countries that were touched by Spanish expansion. If you’re one of the many who incorporate this scrumptious dish into your regular rotation, here are four ways you can turn your leftovers into something new.
Four Mouthwatering Dishes You Can Make with Leftover Arroz con Pollo
- Turn Your Arroz con Pollo into Light, Flavor-packed Burgers
- Fuse Your Favorite Recetas for Tacos with Your Leftovers
- Make a Unique, Cheese-laden Panini
- Put a Twist on Traditional Empanadas
For The Herald, a Washington-based newspaper, the best thing you can do with your leftover arroz con pollo is turn it into burgers. After removing the chicken meat from the bone, simply place the rice and chicken into a food processor until the mixture becomes like a paste. Drizzle in a little olive oil for extra cohesion and mix again. Simply place the burgers on the grill to warm through and add some of that delicious char flavor.
This classic Spanish chicken and rice dish is extremely versatile, as you’ve seen with the idea to make burgers out of the mixture. Placing the leftover chicken and rice into a skillet with your favorite salsa and chile sauce, you can create a light but flavorful taco filling that goes extremely well with handcrafted tortillas and melted queso blanco, as Let’s cook!, a popular cooking blog, suggests.
Just as your leftovers can be transformed into a delectable taco filling, they can also be used as a sandwich topping, sort of like a chicken salad. Place a healthy scoop of your chicken and rice onto your favorite thick-cut bread. After spritzing the outside of your bread with olive oil, add slices of fresh tomato and a generous sprinkling of your favorite shredded cheese. Place in a panini press until the bread reaches your desired level of toasted and the cheese has melted.
There is nothing better than using your leftover chicken and rice to put a new spin on a traditional Hispanic food. Try taking your leftover chicken and rice and preparing it like you did for the burgers. Except, instead of forming the mixture into patties, place it inside your empanada shell, baking your empanadas for a hearty, savory pastry.
Do you have a creative way to use leftover arroz con pollo we didn’t mention? Be sure to share it with other cooks in the comments below! More research here.
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