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Arroz Con Gandules (Rice and Pigeon Peas)

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“This is a traditional Christmas Eve dish from Puerto Rico. Most people add the alcaparrado (olives and capers) at the beginning of cooking. I think this makes the dish taste "funny." I stir in the olives and capers at the end of cooking which I think makes for a cleaner flavor. This recipe is based on one by Daisy martinez. Look at Achiote Oil for the achiote (annatto) oil and Sofrito (Daisy Martinez) for the sofrito, or use your favorite or get store-bought. This recipe makes a lot.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat achiote oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat until it ripples; stir in sofrito and season with salt, pepper, and cumin.
  2. Cook until sofrito reduces and starts sizzling, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the neck bones, peas, and rice until everything is lightly covered with oil.
  4. Add enough broth to cover rice and bones by the width of two fingers.
  5. Cover with a banana leaf, if using, folding as necessary to fit into the pot.
  6. Bring to a boil and let cook until the level of broth reaches the level of the rice (it will look like numerous volcanos).
  7. Remove leaf, add in olives, give a good stir, replace leaf, reduce heat to low, cover and cook until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
  8. Remove leaf and fluff with fork; serve hot.

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