2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice rinsed and washed
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
8 ounces tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon annatto powder, bijol, or turmeric to color the rice
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Salt + pepper to taste
1/2 cup frozen peas
First, pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel then season with salt, pepper, and cumin.
In a wide Dutch oven or large pot with a heavy bottom and a lid, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Over medium heat, place chicken thighs in the pan and brown on both sides. Transfer to a plate.
Next, add the remaining olive oil and sauté onion, garlic and red pepper, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
Add the rice, chicken stock, tomato sauce, annatto powder, bay leaf, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper to the saucepan. Stir to combine all the ingredients.
Bring to a boil then add the chicken thighs to the mixture. Reduce heat to low and cover with the lid.
Cooking low and slow will ensure you don’t burn the rice. Every stove cooks differently so after 40 minutes, take a peek and see if the liquid has been absorbed. If yes, remove the pot from the heat immediately so it doesn’t continue to cook with the residual heat. If not, continue to cook in 5 minute increments until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove pot from the heat.
Fluff the rice with a fork then stir in the frozen peas until warm.