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Chicken and Yellow Rice "Valenciana"
Columbia Restaurant Recipe

During lunch, this dish is cooked in batches, Sarapico style, named after the Columbia’s chef of the 1950s and 1960s. By night, it is made to order Valenciana style and baked in a traditional Spanish clay dish, or cazuela.


½ teaspoon saffron
4 cups chicken stock
½ cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
1 3-pound chicken, cut in quarters (may substitute 4 to 6 boneless chicken breasts)
2 large Spanish onions, chopped into eighths
1 large green pepper, chopped into eighths
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
½ tablespoon salt
1 whole bay leaf
2 cups white long-grain rice
¼ cup dry white wine
½ cup small green peas, cooked
2 roasted red peppers, cut into strips
4 white asparagus tips


Using a mortar and pestle, pulverize the saffron to create a powder. In a small saucepan, heat chicken stock and add saffron, allowing saffron to dissolve.  Keep warm until use. In a large ovenproof casserole, heat olive oil on stove and cook chicken until skin is golden brown on both sides. Remove chicken and set aside. In same oil, sauté onion, green pepper, tomatoes and garlic until onion is transparent. Scrape bottom of pan to loosen any chicken droppings. Add chicken stock, salt, bay leaf and rice; stir well. Return chicken to pan. Bring mixture to a boil, then cover and bake in oven at 400 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until chicken and rice is done. Sprinkle with wine and garnish with peas, roasted red peppers and asparagus tips. Serves 4 to 6.