Rice with Octopus (Arroz com Polvo)

Serves 4

Usually the frozen octopus as been cleaned and ready to prepare  and needs no tenderizing by bashing it. However if you have a fresh caught one,  you may want to take a meat tenderizer to it.

  • One 3 pound frozen octopus, thawed
  • 1 cup  water
  • 1 medium  onion, unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled, coarse chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
  • Coarse salt as needed
  • Pinch crush dried chili pepper
  • 2 cups long grain rice (not instant or parboiled)
  • 4 ½ cups reserved  octopus  broth  
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  1. Cut the tentacles into 1-inch pieces.  Reserve the head for another use or if you are making a large quantity cut up the body as well.
  2. In a pot, combine the water, unpeeled onion with the octopus pieces.  Cover tightly and bring to a boil over medium-high heat for 10 minutes to sweat it.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 35  minutes more or until fork tender. Extra water will be given up by the octopus.
  3. While the octopus is simmering, heat olive oil in a separate pot.  Add the chopped onion, garlic, bay leaf, parsley and chili peppers. Cook until the onions are translucent. When the octopus is nearly tender, reserving the cooking water transfer the pieces to the onions. Pour in about 4 ½ cups cooking broth the cooking broth.  If you don’t have enough broth, add some water to make up the difference.
  4. Cover and bring to a boil. Add the rice and a teaspoon of salt.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the rice for about 15 minutes until the rice is tender.  Mix in the cilantro and serve.
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