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Arroz Con Gandules (Puerto Rican Rice with Pigeon Peas)

By Jannese Torres @delishdlites

Arroz Con Gandules (Puerto Rican Rice with Pigeon Peas)There's nothing more quintessentially Puerto Rican than arroz con gandules. It's part of our national dish (along with Pernil). For holidays, birthdays, baby showers, and more, if there's a party, this dish will be there. Everyone has a little twist on how they prepare this dish, but here's my version.

To make arroz con gandules properly, I believe you can only use one kind of pot, a caldero. Caldero literally

Arroz Con Gandules (Puerto Rican Rice with Pigeon Peas)

translated into cauldron. It's similar to a Dutch oven, but instead of being made from cast iron, it's usually fabricated from aluminum. Every self-respecting Puerto Rican household has one. They're passed on, generation to generation, much like cast iron pans are. The tapered edges and rounded bottom allows for steam to circulate through the rice, and produced a fluffy texture that is more difficult to achieve in a regular stock pot. These pots are also great for braising meats, stews and soups, and are oven safe (with a metal knob).

Arroz Con Gandules (Puerto Rican Rice with Pigeon Peas)

Gandules (aka pigeon peas) are an exotic ingredient to most folks outside of the Caribbean. Pigeon peas, popular throughout the Caribbean West Indies, are small, oval beans with a nutty flavor. They can be found fresh, frozen, canned or dried. They are a bright green color when fresh. If you can get them fresh or frozen (I've found them in NJ Latin food markets), go for it, they're even more flavorful and nutty. If you can't find them, you can substitute with canned pinto, pink or red beans and it'll still be delish!

Parboiled rice is my favorite for this recipe because it's almost impossible to end up with mushy rice. You want the grains of rice to be loose and not sticky. Parboiled rice has been partially cooked, so some of the starch has been removed. This makes the rice less sticky, which is this case, is exactly what we want.

Arroz Con Gandules (Puerto Rican Rice with Pigeon Peas)

This recipe freezes very well, so make a big batch and portion it into storage bags for a quick weeknight side dish. To reheat, transfer into a microwave safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until the rice is hot & fluffy.

Arroz Con Gandules (Puerto Rican Rice with Pigeon Peas)

Arroz Con Gandules (Puerto Rican Rice with Pigeon Peas)


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