Translated: Rice with Pigeon Peas

By Celina DeCastro

Are you looking to spice up the flavor in your rice? Try Arroz con gandules. Although it is quite similar to Rice and Peas known throughout the Caribbean, this signature dish of Puerto Rico includes the important ingredient of Sofrito to give additional flavor. This side dish paired with roasted pork, creates the national dish of Puerto Rico that is served often for holidays and special occasions.

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Things you will need: All can be found at your nearest grocery store.

  • 1/3 cup of Country cubed ham or bacon (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro
  • 1 15-ounce can of Pigeon Peas/Gandules
  • 2 tps of powdered Chicken Bouillon
  • 3 ½ cips of water or low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp of pimento stuffed olives (optional)
  • 1/3 cup of Sofrito
  • 1/3 cup of Tomato Sauce
  • 2 cups of Parboiled Rice
  • Goya Adobo seasoning
  • 1 tsp of dried Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ tps of sazon con achiote y cilantro

What to do:

  1. Heat your Dutch oven or large pot to medium heat
  2. Add olive oil and Sofrito; stir for 4 minutes until fragrant, do not let it brown
  3. Add ham or bacon
  4. Add Sazon, Tomato Sauce and Chicken bouillon
  5. Add water, Italian seasoning, cilantro, bay leaves, and olives; Add adobo to taste
  6. Bring to a boil
  7. Add pigeon peas
  8. Once mixture boils again, add rice
  9. Stir the mixture to distribute the peas through the rice
  10. Allow rice to absorb all liquid, uncovered.
  11. Once liquid is absorbed, cover the rice, lower the heat to low, and allow the rice to steam for 20 to 25 minutes.
  12. Serve to hungry friends and family.