Instant Pot: Green Poblano Rice (Arroz Verde al Poblano)

It's on the menu again. Chicken and rice, that is. But there's definitely no complaints about it here! I've been looking for different ways to prepare chicken and rice because it's a dish that is a favorite at our house. This time, I made a Green Poblano Rice (Arroz Verde al Poblano) which took us to the south of the border. Toasted rice is cooked in a chile broth with onions, poblano chiles, and garlic until fluffy before folding in shredded chicken for a full, one pot meal. If that's not comforting, I don't know what is...

My little guy loves chicken and rice. It's safe to say that it is a clear favorite of his, possibly because he can get a little bit of all the flavors and textures in one spoonful. I happen to like it because it's an easy one pot meal which makes prep and clean up a breeze. This particular recipe comes from Rick Bayless but I found it Epicurious. There are 3 major steps in this recipe - creating the chile broth, toasting the rice and cooking the rice on the stovetop. A bonus is that this dish can be made in advance and that allows for the flavors to fully absorb into the rice even more. You can make this vegetarian by omitting the chicken... and it's just as delicious with shredded or chopped roasted pork!

Green Poblano Rice (Arroz Verde al Poblano)
recipe adapted from Rick Bayless

1 2/3 cups chicken broth or water
2 fresh poblano chiles, stems and seeds removed, and roughly chopped
12 sprigs cilantro, plus extra for garnish
Salt, about 1/2 teaspoon if using salted broth, 1 teaspoon if using unsalted or water
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 cup rice, preferably medium grain
1 small white onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 1/2 cup chicken breast, cooked and shredded

The flavoring:
Plug in the IP with insert set in place.

Press SAUTE and t
o the IP insert, combine the broth and 3/4 of the chiles. Bring to a boil and continue cooking until the chiles are very soft, about 10 minutes. 

Transfer the chile mixture into a food processor, add the cilantro (stems and all), and process to a smooth puree. 

Press through a medium-mesh strainer into a bowl and stir in the salt. Set aside.

The rice:
In the now empty IP, wipe the pot clean, and press SAUTE.

Add the oil; when hot, add the rice, onion, garlic and remaining chopped chiles and cook, stirring regularly, until the rice is chalky looking and the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook a minute longer.

Add the warm chile liquid to the hot rice pan, stir once, scrape down any rice kernels clinging to the side of the pan.

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 5 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 5 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 5 minutes, allow your IP to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. While naturally releasing pressure (also known as NPR or NR), the display will reflect numbers counting up from 1. The numbers indicate how many minutes the IP has stopped cooking since it beeped (or how many minutes it has been naturally releasing pressure).  No need to touch your IP while it naturally releases pressure. 

When the display reflects L10:00 (which is 4 minutes since the IP has beeped), turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).

Uncover and check a grain of rice: It should be nearly cooked through.

- If the rice is just about ready, add the shredded chicken, turn off the heat, re-cover and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes longer to complete the cooking.
- If the rice seems far from done, continue cooking for 5 minutes or so, retest, then turn off the heat and let stand a few minutes longer. Fluff with a fork, scoop into a warm serving dish, decorate with cilantro sprigs and it's ready to serve.

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