Tonight I made Arroz con Pollo Mole (Mole Rice and Chicken) courtesy of IMUSA in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Some of you may already be familiar with IMUSA. They are an international cookware company that is well-known for their Hispanic cookware and housewares.
Recently IMUSA teamed up with McCormick and sent me a Southwest/Mexican themed package containing IMUSA’s lava rock molcajete, salsa dishes, a tortilla warmer and an assortment of McCormick seasoning packets and spices to try. There was a recipe mix for Taco’s, Enchiladas and Tinga de Pollo, plus Cumin, Chili Powder and Black Pepper.
In case you were not aware, Hispanic Heritage Month began on September 15, the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico declared its independence on September 16, and Chile on September 18. So this month, in addition to celebrating their independence, we celebrate the culture and traditions of those who trace their roots to Mexico and the Spanish speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean. During this time, we recognize the important contributions made and the important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States.
And because I am geeky this way, here’s a NUMBERS FACT BREAK-
According to the 2010 Census, 50.5 million people or 16% of the population are of Hispanic or Latino origin. The Latino population grew 43% since the 2000 Census- accounting for more than half the nation’s total population growth! Hispanics actually accounted for ALL population increases in Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts,New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island in the last 10 years. (1) Wow!
Also, despite the recession, the buying power of Hispanic Americans continues to increase. Projections show that Hispanic buying power will increase to $1.5 TRILLION dollars by 2015, having grown 50% within five years. This rate of growth tops that of all other racial/ethnic groups and buying power growth overall. (2) Amazing! Oh, and with 86% of Latina women at the helm of purchasing decisions in households, the times are changing and economic power is shifting.
Hispanic women represent a key growth factor of the U.S. female population and are expected to become 30 percent of the total female population by 2060. The non-Hispanic white female population is expected to drop to 43 percent.
But what’s really cool is that by 2060, there will be no single dominant ethnic group. Instead, the female (and total) population will comprise a diverse ethnic plurality where Latinas (and Hispanics in general) play a sizable role. (3) Isn’t that awesome?
NO SINGLE DOMINANT ethnic group.
With that, I tip my hat…
So, in addition to their many great contributions to our nation (Nobel Prizes, Pultizers, Sports, Theater, Film, and so much more. (See Famous Firsts by Hispanics for more)) They have given us their food.
I love Spanish Food. Mexican, Salvadoran, Colombian, Puerto Rican, you name it…I love all of them. So naturally, in addition to what they sent me, I went out and bought an IMUSA tortilla press and an IMUSA Comal to attempt to make tortillas. The flour ones turned out much better than the masa ones, so I think they will be a work in progress. But I am happy to have masa in the house to make Pastelitos and Pupusas.
I was really thrilled to receive an IMUSA’s lava rock molcajete. I make guacamole at least once a week, as it’s a favorite snack amongst my kids with a bowl of tortilla chips (or plain with a fork for my oldest daughter), and this will make it that much creamier. Plus it’s great for crushing spices! We shared some guacamole for our appetizer while the chicken cooked.
This recipe is adapted from George Duran, chef, entertainer and author of Take This Dish and Twist it. George is known for his Food Network show Ham on the Street and most recently host of TLC’s Ultimate Cake Off. Check out his website at www.georgeduran.com. There is such an array of flavors, sweet and spicy with hints of cinnamon and chocolate.
Arroz con Pollo Mole
2 tbsp. toasted sesame seed
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. mild chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. salt
1 chicken, cut into 1/8ths
½ cup flour
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
6 slices of bacon, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 red pepper, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups rice, uncooked
2 6-oz. can tomato paste
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
6 cups chicken stock
Curly parsley, finely chopped, for garnish
In a small bowl combine the first five ingredients. Set aside.
Dust chicken pieces with flour and season with salt and pepper.
Heat the vegetable oil in your dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook them until they are golden browned, about 5-7 minutes on each side. Remove from the pot and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium and cook bacon until browned but not crisp.
Add the onion, red peppers and garlic. Sauté until softened, about 3 minutes.
Add the rice, tomato paste, and chocolate.
Add the mixed spices you set aside earlier and stir everything to combine well.
Add in the chicken stock and mix to combine again. Leaving the lid off, allow the rice mixture to come to a slow gentle boil while stirring. Cover tightly with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Continue simmering for 25 minutes.
Uncover, gently mix the rice and return the chicken to the pot by placing it on top of the rice. Cover and continue simmering for 30-35 more minutes or until the chicken and rice are cooked through, all the liquid absorbed and the chicken is fork tender. While unlikely, if needed, add more chicken stock until rice is done. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
Now you can WIN a similar package from IMUSA and McCormick. I’m giving away a Cuban/Caribbean Package containing: IMUSA’s wood mortar and pestle, a tostonera, and assorted McCormick spices including Black Pepper, Garlic Salt, Curry Powder, Paprika, Cinnamon, Oregano, Black Peppercorn Grinder, Chicken Bag ‘n Season, and Black Beans & Rice Mix.
All you have to do is leave a comment and tell me what Spanish dish you like to cook or a dish you’d like to learn how to make. It’s that easy!
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Disclosure: I received one Southwest/Mexican tool and spice package from IMUSA and McCormick to try. IMUSA also supplied a recipe for me to test. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any other way for this post. The giveaway is brought to you by IMUSA and McCormick and they may substitute prize contents at their discretion. All prize packages will be sent out by their PR firm and I am not responsible for any loss or damage as a result of non-delivery or delays in prizes. I will however assist the winner with emails and phone calls in the case where a prize is not received. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
1. Pew Hispanic Center, “Census 2010: 50 Million Latinos,” Mar. 2011
2. Sam Fahmy, “Despite recession, Hispanic and Asian buying power expected to surge in U.S.”, Terry College of Business UGA, Nov. 2010, http://www.terry.uga.edu/news/releases/2010/minority-buying-power-report.html
3. Nielsen, “Latina Power Shift”, 2013, http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/reports/2013/latina-power-shift.html