I may be Italian but some of my favorite foods are Latin American foods. A few years ago, for my husbands 30th birthday, I threw a huge Latin American themed party. I cooked for 60 people and yes made everything myself. This included, 6 Pernils (Roast Pork shoulder which takes 4 hrs each to cook), 2 types of Empanadas, rice, beans, flan, Tres Leches and many, many more things. For some reason, I am determined to do all of this again in August for our sons 1st birthday, complete with a Mariachi band (I’m nuts I know!). Life has changed A LOT since G came into the world, so I know I won’t have as much time to cook and prepare. However, I don’t have to sacrifice originality or flavor and the party can be just as great with a little imagination. Searching for a way to make Arroz Con Pollo portable and put the Christina spin on a classic, I came up with Arroz Con Pollo Rice Balls. Combining Italy with Puerto Rico! What could be better? Enjoy!
Arroz Con Pollo Balls
Makes 12 Rice balls
2 cups cooked yellow rice, cooled
3/4 c store bought Roasted Chicken, shredded
1/2 c chopped pimento stuffed green olives
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbsps chopped cilantro
1/4 c cotillo cheese (or any grated cheese you like)
3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsps of water
2 cups vegetable oil (or use your favorite frying oil)
Cook your rice according to package directions and allow to cool. ( I used Canilla white rice in a 1-2 ratio and added in a pinch of saffron threads to give it the yellow color).
In a medium bowl, combine rice, chicken, olives, salt, pepper, cilantro and cheese. Mush the mixture with your hands until it is stick enough to form balls (if it isn’t coming together add 1-2 tbsps of water to the mixture). Form mixture into 12 equally sized balls.
Roll each of the balls into the egg/water mixture and then in the breadcrumbs. Refrigerate balls for 10 minutes.
In a 2 quart saucepan heat 2 cups of vegetable oil until it reaches 360 degrees.
TIP: If you do not have a frying thermometer, simply sprinkle a little breadcrumbs into the oil. If the breadcrumbs begin to sizzle, then the oil is hot enough.
Fry the rice balls, 4 at a time until golden brown, approximately 3-4 minutes.
Drain on brown paper bag or paper towel and serve warm.