Molded Rice with Chicken (Arroz con Pollitos Mercedes)
Author: Barbara Norman
  • 20 small pitted olives
  • 2 young, very tender chickens
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 Cup dry white wine
  • salt and white pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato puree
  • 3 3/4 Cups canned chicken soup (or stock made with chicken bouillon)
  • 1 medium onion; chopped
  • 1/4 pound cured ham; cut in strips
  • 1 1/2 Cups rice
  • 2 ounces grated Swiss or Dutch cheese
  1. Simmer olives in water to cover for 5 minutes; drain and set aside. Cut each chicken in four pieces, dry them well, sprinkle them with salt, and fry over a hot fire in 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter.
  2. When chicken is browned, add white wine and a pinch of pepper. When the wine has reduced to half, add the tomato puree (first mixing it with a little of the juice). Mix in the olives, add salt to taste, cover the casserole, and cook very slowly until the chicken is tender. Add a little water during cooking if necessary to thin sauce.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bring the chicken stock to boil on the side. In a flat casserole, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil with 2 tablespoons butter. Fry the chopped onion with the ham cut in strips. When the onion turns golden, add the rice. Brown the rice. Pour boiling chicken stock over rice, quickly mix in cheese, check seasoning, and put dish in 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until rice is done.
  4. Take a crown mold, butter it, pack mold with the rice, let it rest a few minutes, then unmold it in a large, round dish. Arrange the chicken in the center with the olives and ham on top. Pour chicken sauce over both rice and chicken and serve.
Recipe Source: THE SPANISH COOKBOOK by Barbara Norman
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