Arroz Con Pollo by Barb Poole

There are many things I love about networking. Oxford says networking is “the action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.” In my former coaching days in the careers business, networking meant connecting with colleagues and organizations to learn, promote, and share clients.

Today, even in my role as a food and travel blogger, I’m in touch with many of my career industry colleagues. Barb Poole is one of those colleagues I admire for her work in the careers industry and enjoy interacting with when food, recipes, and cooking are involved. That’ why she’s my next guest blogger!

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A little bit about Barb: (believe me, this is just a “little” background for this highly accomplished lady)

Barb Poole is the founder, president, and content writer for Hire Imaging. Barb has been helping executive and professional clients globally with their job searches and career management for 30 years. Her job-topic writing has appeared in over 15 career publications, syndicated columns, and Resumes for Dummies and Job Search Letters for Dummies.

In Barb’s personal life, she has experienced Martin Luther King’s march in Montgomery, hospital assistance in the Philippines during the Vietnam conflict, friendships that landed her in the homes of General William Westmoreland, Governor George Wallace, and record-setting pilot, Chuck Yaeger and more.

Currently, Barb lives with her husband, Don, and their two-year-old English Cocker, Beau. They winter in Erie, Colorado (USA) and summer in Fifty Lakes, Minnesota (USA). She enjoys yoga, Zumba, walking, cooking, sipping wine while Zoom visiting with family and friends, movies that make her laugh or cry, and curling up with a good book.

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Barb’s story and recipe:

This recipe was given to me on a handwritten scrap of paper back in the early 1980s by my husband Don’s, maternal aunt, Emma Corneliussen Romero (a Minnesota farm girl married to an immigrant New Yorker). Emma got the recipe word-of-mouth from her mother-in-law, who was from Cuba. Emma met her mother-in-law’s son and her future husband, Emerson Romero, in New York City back in the 1930s. Both Emma and her husband were deaf. Emerson was a silent movie star known as “Tommy Albert” until the talkies came in. Being deaf, he didn’t have a career in talking pictures. However, Emerson went on to invent captioned films. Of note, his first cousin was the movie actor, Caesar Romero. [If interested in a little more backstory about Emerson click this link: Emerson Romero.]

Here is the recipe, as printed in the family cookbook I compiled in 2008 for Christmas gifts. It is in Emma’s own words, just as she gave me. Please check notes in the recipe for updated modifications from over the years.

Oh my gosh this looks soooo good!!

Arroz Con Pollo by Emma Romero

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Ingredients

  • Frying chicken
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 cup rice (not Minute rice)
  • 2 cups hot water, with 2 chicken broth cubes
  • Pinch of saffron, dissolved in ¼ cup of hot water
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • 1 small can of tiny peas (LeSueur)
  • Pimentos
  • Stuffed green olives, chopped

Instructions

  1. In the skillet, heat ¼ cup oil and add chicken. Brown on all sides. Remove chicken.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaf, green pepper, oregano and tomatoes. Cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add chicken stock, salt, pepper and saffron. Bring to a boil. Add rice. As soon as boiling starts again, reduce heat to simmering.
  4. Add chicken to pan. Cover and simmer until chicken is tender, rice puffy. Drain peas and put on rice. Also pimentos and olives. Cook for awhile (SEE notes below). Then remove the cover and cook for awhile longer. It is ready to serve. Happy cooking!

Notes

  • In recent years, I have “cheated” by buying a grocery store rotisserie chicken and taking just the meat, no skin. I start with browning the onion step. And add the chicken meat along with the stock and ingredients in that step. I use just 2 or so tablespoons of oil, usually olive oil.
  • I don’t care for salty bouillon cubes. So I use 2 cups bone chicken broth. You could use any chicken broth.
  • Saffron is called the gold of spices. It’s a bit spendy and not always easiest to find. But IMO it’s worth it!
  • For pimentos and olives, I eyeball it. I like the color they add. The olives also add a delicious flavor if allowed to simmer a bit.
  • “Cook for awhile” is vague, to be sure. I tend to just simmer very slowly in a heavy skillet in the oven, 325 degrees and then sometimes turn down to 300 for a bit. Everything but the rice is cooked, so it’s just melding the flavors. You can also simmer in on top of the stove, which Emma used to do. I often simmer for up to 2 hours. I keep taking it out, watching it, and stirring. If needed, I add more broth. Don’s cousin (Emma’s daughter) came for dinner a few months ago and I made this. She kept removing it from the oven and said, “You want to fan that scent, and see the tomatoes blossom out full; ahhh!”

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https://christinasfoodandtravel.com/arroz-con-pollo-by-barb-poole/

For more information about Barb, and her coaching talents, check out these links: Hire Image, LinkedIn, Career Directors Article. For Barb’s full bio click here: Barb Poole

Thanks, Barb!

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