My grandma use to make this but she would add capers along with olives. Man I miss her arroz con pollo. I’ve tried to make it but it never comes out like hers.
When we lived in Puerto Rico our friend who lived just down in back made this dish big enough to feed at least ten people and she always added mango slices, green olives and canned tomatoes to her rice…probably to suit her taste in amounts of each.
I MADE THIS BUT I USED TOMATOE SAUCE, AND I ADDED CUMIN SEASONING IT WAS VERY GOOD.
I’ve made this several times the way my ex-husband’s aunt, who was from Cuba, taught me. Instead of chicken broth, I cook the rice in beer and add chopped olives. The combination of the beer, tomato and olives is amazing.
What a great idea Tina, thanks for sharing!
Made this yesterday and it was delicious! I added a good pinch of saffron and heated it in the broth before adding to the chicken. I also added about 1/2 cup frozen peas, chopped delicious heirloom tomatoes and a small amount of hot pepperoncini for kick. Next time I’ll vary it with slivered or chopped almonds or roasted pine nuts for crunch and some smoked paprika. One exception is that I don’t care for wet skin which is what this resulted in when placing a lid on the skillet so 15 minutes before it was cooked I removed the chicken and put it into a baking dish and into the oven at 450F. to brown and crisp up the skin. I highly recommend this if you find the skin wet and unappealing. I browned the chicken well enough in advance as instructed but after adding the rice and liquid and then a lid, the skin softened and was very moist. Although I browned the chicken in the oven, I did however remove the skin before eating but recommend that the skin remain on the chicken so that more flavour permeates into the dish and the chicken retains its moisture. Many possibilities for variations with this dish according to likes and dislikes.
I made this tonight following the recipe exactly and it was really yummy, and super easy to make. I think I will add more seasoning next time, maybe I will try with saffron. I can tell this is going to be really good leftover too! I always love your recipes!
I’m so glad you liked it! I think it would be great with saffron too.
I cooked this tonight and it was great!! Followed the recipe exactly, it was super easy and tastes great! I love your website, the recipes I’ve tried are really good!
I first made this a couple years ago as a new way to use up some chicken thighs. I’m from Eastern Ontario and I don’t know anyone who has ever made this, or many who have even eaten it. It’s delicious though, and pretty easy so it’s now part of our regular rotation!
I don’t dredge my chicken in flour, I usually add peppers with the onions, and I decided I like the fresh tomatoes better than the tomato paste.
What kind and size of skillet do you use? Does that matter much for this? I have a 10″ stainless steel one and a 12″ cast iron, but neither have lids so I have been using my 5 qt cast iron dutch oven as it’s the largest pan/pot I have with a lid. I sometimes have issues with getting the rice to not stick to the bottom and not be a gluey consistency. I’m not sure if the pot/pan has something to do with that, or it’s just me not timing things properly. Maybe I should invest in a new skillet with a lid?
Bree, there are glass lids available for 12″ cast iron skillets. However, I like to cook any dish that has tomatoes in a stainless steel skillet. I have a 12″ Revere Ware with a lid that I love. It is an older Revere that was not made overseas. They are a lot thinner and don’t cook as well. I don’t think that the Dutch oven is letting the ingredients spread out enough. I went for years with the same three sizes of pans like you have and I am glad I splurged on the 12″ stainless. I use it quite a lot now. This is a great recipe isn’t it? It tastes like it took hours to make!
Bree, I don’t know about the sticking to the pan situation with your rice, but I do know that the key to cooking non-sticky, non-gluey rice is that it not be stirred. In other words, when you cook rice, stir it at the beginning of its cooking while it is first coming to a boil, then put your lid on and turn down very low to finish the rice’s cooking. Dont stir. Hope this helps.
I was looking for an easy and quick rice and bean recipe and this was the perfect start. I used boil in bag rice added beans and spices and it was awesome…thanks for sharing.
Delicious! Just the meal for a hungry husband home from the business wars. I do have a request, though. Could the nutrition facts be included in these recipies? We are both watching our weight and the information would be so helpful!
Many thanks for all the help I’ve received in my meal planning!
Thank you for this recipe! I was trying to cook the Arroz con Pollo that I grew up eating in Argentina, but that recipe needs a yellow powdery saffron that I can’t find in the USA. So I searched for a different recipe and came across yours. It doesn’t taste like the one I grew up eating, mostly because that saffron is irreplaceable, but my family and I loved your recipe nonetheless and will become a staple. Thank you!
I have boneless and skinless chicken thighs. Will those produce the same result?
Hi Steven, I haven’t yet made it with boneless skinless thighs but I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work just as well.
I cooked this tonight and it was amazing! I used cut up chicken breasts instead because I don’t care too much for bone – in chicken pieces. I also used brown rice, and it was a big hit.
Love, love, love this recipe! I’ve made this for my family several times and each time it was a hit. Didn’t change a thing… Thanks..
when i had made this i was thinking i was not going to turn out right but it did it was good in its wasn’t dry it was just right it was so good that my mother in sisters ask for more i used everything beside the tomatoes
I grew up in Santa Cruz, Bolivia and our arroz con Pollo was slightly different, ours had diced peppers, onion, diced carrot, celery and peas. They would fry the chicken and debone and shred it, saving the grease it is fried in. They would make a brown chicken gravy and add this to the rice/vegetable mix and top with a sunnyside up egg and fried banana. YUMMMM!
This has become a staple in our household. And yes, we add saffron.
This recipe is absolutely delicious! I will definitely make it again.
Our local Mexican restaurant covers the top with a melted white cheese and it is wonderful. Any idea what kind of cheese this would be? They use it in a lot of dishes and you can order a “side” of it too.
Possibly queso fresco. Or perhaps queso crema. ~Elise
WOW! I was so surprised when I opened the lid and took my first taste! I was not expecting it to taste so amazing. My husband and I LOVE Mexican food and so glad I stumbled on your blog! We tried the Salsa Verde Carnitas this weekend…which are amazing, and now another fantastic recipe. Thank you! I LOVE IT!!!
When I was a teenager we lived in Costa Rica and Arroz Con Pollo was a favourite in our family. I raised my kids on it – they’re now grown and they still ask for it (we live in Canada). I make a very basic recipe like the one on this website, only I use 4 fat cloves of garlic and a small tin of tomato paste. I also use a 1/4 cup of olive oil…..it’s lovely when it’s greasy (lol). For our health’s sake, I tend to use unskinned chicken breasts cut in half, although chicken thighs with skin taste fantastic. It is truly a versatile dish…..you can add peas, saffron, red peppers, corn, whatever….it’s a one-dish meal that pleases a crowd.
Panamanian Style with Olives & capers
Very good recipe. For Panamanian style you would add diced onions while browning the rice, and for flavor after adding the liquid you can use packets of Goya seasoning- with saffron (con azafran) or the other versions with Achiote, Culatro,Tomato, etc. They give very authentic flavors not to mention gorgeous color. After the liquid and seasoning packs have been mixed in, add the chicken, a jar of drained pimiento olives and a couple teaspoons of capers. Delicious! Garnish with sliced pimiento and you are all set.
Thank you so much for this recipe! I’ve never been able to make my rice to taste like my moms. I am Mexican and my fiance is Puerto Rican. We both know this dish in two diff versions. This was perfect! My rice came out delicious and the chicken breast was so moist and tender! We loved it and it will def be a dish that my two little ones will grow up with!
I ended up making this twice in one weekend. The first time, I did something wrong and the rice was not done – it was crunchy (yuck!) but the chicken tasted good. The second time, I browned the chicken pieces in olive oil first, removed them from the pan, sauteed the rice and onions in the chicken drippings for a bit, then added the broth and let it simmer on high for a few minutes without the chicken on top. I then lowered the heat and placed the chicken on top. Both the rice and chicken came out perfect!
Dang! This is bomb! My 9 year old daughter’s mouth is burning (really not that spicy) and still eating because its got sooo much good flavor! My family loved it!
Made this tonight, it was delicious! Only issue was it took about 40 minutes for the chicken to be thoroughly cooked – they were big pieces. Next time I’ll maybe brown them longer or get smaller pieces of chicken.
Thank you for the recipe. I have made multiple variations off of your base recipe (which is outstanding on its own).
Mi familia thanks you!
Hi Elise, I tried to follow this recipe, but by the time I’m adding the water, there’s a lot of smoke coming out of my pan and the rice is starting to burn. Because the fire alarm is going off, I have to take the pan off the stove for a bit before I can continue cooking. Is this normal? I’m using a 10 in nonstick skillet to cook 5 pieces of chicken thighs and 1 cup of rice with 2 cups of water. I’m using an electric stove and replaced the olive oil with grapeseed oil if that makes a difference.
No, that is not normal. Sounds like your skillet is too small for that much chicken, and you may be cooking with the heat too high. ~Elise
This recipe is delicious! I had trouble making it as my skillet isn’t big enough to hole 3 chicken breasts, 2 cups of rice, and 4 cups of broth, but I have a better strategy for next time. The main problem I had was cooking the rice as the chicken was fine popped in the oven and added when some liquid had gone down.
Great value meal for the family! I made this recipe last night for dinner after my husband came back from the grocery with a value pack of chicken. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any chicken stock on hand so I subbed a can of cream of chicken soup (with added water to bring to 4 cups). The finished dish was wonderful! I agree with the added olives and some spice to perk things up. This will be an easy family meal for any weeknight to come.
I began making this dish last fall when I went back to college, as it was quick, easy, and filling. I’ve found that bone-in thighs taste best, but boneless are easier to find at the store. The only change to the basic recipe I’ve done is to add a 1/2 cup of chopped green olives to the browned rice right before adding the chicken pieces and broth/tomatoes/seasonings. A shame that my kids usually devour the entire panful by the time my evening classes are over, leaving me with only memories of how it smelled…
Made this for dinner and the whole family (6 and 8 year old included) loved it. I did add peas at the end.
My only comment is that it made way more rice than chicken. Perhaps this is authentic, but it made tons of rice leftovers.
I’ve made this twice – good both times! I’m a novice in the kitchen (to put it lightly), so I’ve had trouble both times getting the chicken and the rice to be finished at the same time. Still, I love one-pot meals! Thanks!
Okay! I will try again – I’m actually trying it right now, have gotten as far as browning the rice. I’ve got the correct liquid ratio to rice standing by, as well.
If by chance I do end up with mushy rice, is there anything I can do to save it? Will cooking it longer make a difference?
Good question. I guess if the rice were mushy, you might just cook them longer, and uncovered. ~Elise
I made this as an experiment about a year ago while my husband was deployed – it seemed like an inexpensive meal that would make a ton of leftovers for my daughter and I to eat off of while we were alone.
It took quite a while to make and it smelled incredible. As I recall, the only change I made was to add the olives some suggested. Unfortunately, when I tasted it after it finished, the rice was extremely mushy. I tried to cook it a little bit longer to see if it simply wasn’t cooked enough, but it never made a difference. We ate the chicken pieces, but had to throw the rest of it away.
I keep thinking about how delicious it smelled, though, and now that my husband is back home I’d really love to make the dish again, minus the mushy rice. But given the amount of time and ingredients it took to make it before, I thought I’d check with you before heading to the grocery store. Can you help me figure out where I went wrong – what would have caused mushy rice? How can I avoid it this time around?
Sounds like you had too much liquid for the rice you used. I would just make sure that you followed the instructions on your rice package for the water to rice ratio for that particular rice. ~Elise
This was a staple in my home as a child and I am keeping the tradition alive for myown kids. My mother always said that saffron.waswhat made it “true” arroz con pollo. She was very Mexican and very picky about her culture. I have modified her recipe, making it faster – I buy chicken stock,I use rotisserie chicken, no giblets and I like to add peas.Also, my kids prefer the meat off the bone instead of how we used to have it – a whole fryer cut up. We always eat this with homemade tortillas, picking the food up with the tortilla. Yum!!!
I have just moved to Madrid and in the midst of it all have been eating a lot of chicken and a lot of rice! I made this today, but had to make do with parsley instead of oregano, and tinned tomatoes instead of fresh. I couldn’t wait to let it simmer that long either. Still tasted GREAT. Thanks Elise!
To cheat on cleanup, I just seasoned and browned the chicken on the grill — gave it great flavor! I also added the traditional peas, capers & olives and it was yummy…thanks!
I made this over the weekend and my family loved it – it was so fun to make! I used about 10 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs – which fit perfectly snug in my 10″ skillet. I found I had to add a bit more salt to taste upon serving. Tasted even better the next day, too! Thanks for this recipe!
This was simply delicious! I used fresh organic chicken breasts from a local farm, organic basmati rice and organic tomatoes, onions, garlic and broth. Made it EXACTLY as you described and my family LOVED it! What a simple, yet hearty one-pot meal!!!
I made this along with your spicy citrus black beans for a couple of friends. Since I had to soak the black beans last night, I decided to rub the chicken with some salt, paprika, cumin and chipotle powder last night to oomph up the flavor a bit more. Everything came out really nicely. The chicken dish cooked up quickly and easily – I love that you close it up and don’t touch it for 25 minutes, which is the perfect amount of time to clean up the kitchen! Then when it’s opened, the rice is all fluffy and the chicken is golden brown :]The one thing I might do differently next time is to use spray olive oil because I found it a bit heavy, but that’s probably just me being heavy handed. Maybe a squeeze of lemon to add freshness, but overall it was yum yum. I will make this again.By the way, I made this because it’s in your budget recipes, and budget it is! To make this and the black beans I paid 8 dollars at the store, which stuffed 6 people, all of whom raved over the food. Can’t beat that.Thanks Elise for another good recipe!
Mmm I have now made this twice and I recommend using at least double the garlic. True I am a garlic lover but I just think you can’t get enough garlic, especially for a Spanish dish.
BTW: Me and 2 friends can usually finish this much food, but maybe we just eat a lot ;)
I skipped the garlic and added a minced jalapeño or two. I also doubled up on the Spanish olives. I left them whole…the meaty bite of the olives plus the briney taste is perfect.
This is a very popular dish with my family. The basic recipe is wonderful, and all the additions and suggestions above are all great ideas. I love tomatoes and some chopped peppers, love the olives too, but have some non olive eaters so I have to add them at the table for my plate…adding some chorizo or smoked sausage is always a hit too especially if making a very large batch. I have also thrown in a pound of shrimp and that went over well. Thanks for the great recipe.
I remember my mom making this when we were growing up and now I make it myself, the only thing different from your recipe is we use comino and not oregano.
Hey elise,In the recipie, it says that I can use tomato paste, fresh, or cooked tomatoes. Which did youu use for this, or, which one do you think would be best to use? Do you think that there is a whole flavor difference if I use one thing and not the other?
I would say that if it is late summer, and you have access to highly flavorful, fresh tomatoes, then use those, otherwise use canned tomatoes or tomato paste. They’re all good. ~Elise
This looks really good and I want to make it, but what could I use in place of the flour since we are gluten-free? Could I use an all purpose gluten-free flour or corn starch? Thanks!
Just skip the dredging in flour step. ~Elise
Arroz Con NoNo! Made this for dinner tonight and hate to say, it was the first Simply Recipes dish that we universally didn’t care for. It was okay, not much more. Not nearly as much flavor as we’re used to in this dish. It’s a good basic recipe, but needs a lot more oomph.
My daughter and I made this last week. WONDERFUL! Looking forward to making more!
I was looking for a dish with chicken to use my surplus of tomatoes in, and this was better than I had dreamed of. The best part is that all the ingredients are simple/standard things everyone’s got in their kitchen.
I used cut up pieces of boneless breast and thigh so that eating was easier without having to work around bones.
Absolutely scrumptious! I live alone so have had days of the best leftovers ever!
I’ve made this recipe a couple of times now and I really like it and I agree that saffron rice is probably not that authentic. I do add peas (frozen) and olives at the end, but that may be because I’m from Hudson County NJ and influenced by the Cuban poplulation (not sure it is the Cubans, but all of the Arroz con Pollo I’ve tasted included peas and olives.) Tastes great and I’ve received many compliments on my version of this dish from friends that grew up with their mother’s Arroz con Pollo.
Thanks for the site, it’s becoming one of my favorites.
Elise, thank you for the delicious recipe. I made it as a “thank you” dinner for friends about a month ago; but instead of using chicken, I roasted a turkey breast seasoned with paprika, and course ground black pepper.
I also used diced tomatoes instead of tomato paste. I just prefer the flavor of fresh tomatoes.
I put the turkey breast in with the rice according to your instructions, using a 10-inch skillet with a dome lid as deep as the skillet. When the rice was done and I removed the lid, it was a beautiful sight! I had roasted the turkey to a golden brown, and the colorful rice and tomato mix surrounding it, filling the pan to the brim, was absolutely gorgeous. I should have taken photos, but then how would you have seen them? Anyway, it went from being Arroz con Pollo to Arroz con Pavo.
When I served up the Arroz con Pavo and tasted it, it was even more delicious than it was pretty. The meal was topped off with my own “Real “Down-Home” Southern Banana Pudding” for dessert, which was the perfect complement to the Arroz con Pavo. Who’d a-thunk that Southern and Hispanic foods would go so well together?
My friends were impressed, just going on and on about how good the Arroz con Pavo tasted and how the banana pudding was the perfect dessert to follow it. They even suggested that I open a restaurant based on that one meal. I told them I had Elise to thank for the Arroz con Pollo recipe that I used for the Arroz con Pavo.
I may not be a chef, except in my own kitchen and imagination; but I do know good food when I taste it–and I’m a firm believer in giving praise where praise is due.
You have my gratitude for making my “thank you” dinner for my friends a huge success.
Thank you, and thanks to your mother for helping me out with such a great dish. It was very much appreciated by all.
Via con Dios, Amiga.
Hello Al, thank you for walking us through your turkey version. I have never thought to make this dish with turkey, but I bet it was terrific! So thank you for sharing. ~Elise
I have just been placed on a low cholesteral diet, and I ;am looking for different chicken recipes. I halved this recipe, and it was very good. But, my gosh, I have enough for a couple of more meals.
Does this dish freeze well? I know a portion of it will wind up in the freezer for a day when I need a quick meal.
Hi Dottie, this should freeze fine. ~Elise
I from Puerto Rico and Arroz con Pollo was a staple in my home. The perfect one pot dish. I have never heard of dredging the chicken in flour that is very interesting.
I start mine with a sofrito base (a puree of green pepper, onion, culantro and garlic) and use Sazon with achiote. I also use bay leaves, green olives and some diced ham in th rice.
I alway make mine with some fried sweet plantains on the side.
I really love black beans…can I add black beans to this recipe? If so, how? Would I mix in with the rice?
I suggest checking out our black beans and rice recipe. You can, of course, just stir some cooked black beans in with the rice of this dish if you want. ~Elise
I make mine kind of like this but I saute the veggies (I use celery, carrots, onions, garlic, green bell peppers and canned tomatos) It’s so awesome we also use Sazon, and adobo! So delicious even my picky 5 year old eats it!
I’ve made this dish at home a number of times and this is one my favorites on this website. I’m jammed for an idea for an office party tomorrow and I was thinking of ramping this up for mass-feeding whereby I would exchange the chicken thighs for chicken wing drummettes. Any thoughts?
I wonder if, after the browning of the onions and rice, the rest of this recipe could be transferred to a roasting pan and finished in the oven. I’ve never tried to cook rice in an oven.
The issue with the wing drummettes is that they would likely cook faster than the thighs, so might be done long before the rice is done. As for cooking rice in an oven, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work, but I haven’t done it that way yet. ~Elise
I make my arroz con pollo with homemade sofrito, onions, cilantro, 1 packet of sazon accent and plenty of garlic. I use tomato sauce for color and flavor. Sometimes I’ll add pigeon peas so it comes out more like arroz con gandules and pollo.
I made this over the weekend and it was amazing! I used swanson chicken broth, instead of stock. I used Adobo-Goya instead of salt, I omitted the flour from the chicken & I used brown rice instead of white; I was trying to make it healthier. It was great, I added peas and corn and looks really colorful, but most importantly it was delicious! I’m eating the leftovers as I write this. Even my Hispanic roomate said it tasted just like her mom’s. Thank you for a simple recipe.
~Milka, Cincinnati, OH
I just made this tonight on St. Pattys day because my corned beef was not done!! So I made this and wow, its really good, did make a few changes though. I used some red and green bell peppers, did add the peas, and added some taco seasoning to make it a little more mexican style, but all in all it turned out great! I used my new Enameled Cast Iron Skillet and I was amazed that it all cooked and even at the right time! Thanks for this great recipe.
Thank you so much for this. A simple recipe, and we always have all the ingredients on hand! It was a hit for tea tonight! Thanks for a lovely meal, even my picky kids loved it! So hard with a family of 6 to please.;)
We love this recipe. I’ve made it a number of times with boneless skinless chicken breasts (because that’s what we usually have in the house) and it’s still very good.
I did it today and it was delicious! Thanks…
Elise, I love your site and come quite often. I must say, I hardly follow your recipes to the letter, then again, I hardly follow any recipes to the letter.
The way my mom and Puertorican grandmother (and now I) make the dish, it includes both black and green olives and capers.
My only experience with arroz con pollo was at a neighborhood Cuban restaurant. If I’m remembering right, they added smoked sausage to it (along with chopped green olives). No one’s mentioned sausage so I’m beginning to doubt my memory, but when I’ve made it that way it’s very good.
I printed this off at work and took it home. BIG HIT! Simple and delicious.
The page was still up so I thought I’d say thanks!
The only change I made was I used boneless chicken breasts.
I loved this recipe it turned out so perfect. I used skinless chicken thighs cut up. I am not an experienced cook so when it came out so perfect I was very happy! My family loved it thanks so much..: ))
This recepie was delicious. I suggest cooking the rice first and then adding the chicken. When I followed the recipe exactly the rice didn’t cook all the way through. I had to add more liquid to get the rice just right. I tried this again by cooking the rice first and then adding all of the ingredients and it was fabulous. My family really enjoyed it.
Studying in Cuba, the arroz con pollo that I ate always had roasted red bell pepper. The chicken was also usually removed from the bone. As meat is hard to purchase (if you are Cuban), left over chicken meat would be added to the rice, avoiding waste.
It is especially good served with maduros (fried sweet plantains) and black beans.
Hi Elise, I made this last night, and was very flavorful however my chicken didn’t end up being cooked enough in the end. I followed your advice to just slightly brown it as you state in the beginning of your recipe, but I had to re-cook the chicken alone in the end…Where did I go wrong?
Hi Wendy, chicken pieces vary in their sizes, so sounds like you just needed to cook the dish a bit longer. ~Elise
I made this last night. It tasted great, and after the obligatory ‘yuck’ at a new meal, both my kids ate the chicken. However, I used brown rice and it didn’t cook. The packet said 25 minutes, and I gave it an extra 20, but we still had to eat very chewy rice. What did I do wrong?!
Brown rice not only takes 3 times as long to cook but it also requires more liquid than white rice. Sounds like the instructions on the packet were off. I love brown rice but I’ve never used it to make Spanish rice or arroz con pollo. ~Elise
I made the dish tonight and my husband (a huge arroz con pollo) fan loved it! We mixed it up with a bit of hot sauce and Lizano Salsa from Costa Rica for an extra bit of kick and tang. Perfect! Thanks for the fab recipe!
This recipe looks great. I’m going to make this for a big dinner I’m preparing this weekend.Does anyone have suggestions on how I should modify it if I make a batch for my vegetarian friends? Add tofu instead of chicken? Sweet potatoes or some other starch? Butternut squash? Zucchini?Thanks!
After recently returning from a week in Mexico, and longing for the great food I ate while there, I spent some time earlier this afternoon looking for a good Arroz con Pollo recipe. I opted for your recipe and made it tonight, it turned out great! It’s defintely going to become a favorite around here. Thanks.
I made this last night. Took longer than I expected but I had big pieces of chicken. Nevertheless was so delicious. And I have leftovers for days, can’t wait for lunch!
My husband and I made this tonight after watching Bobby Flay’s arroz con pollo throwdown last night on tv. We wanted to start off with a fairly basic recipe and go from there. We both agree that this is just delicious the way it is. Ok, I did add a little white wine and used both tomato paste and canned tomatoes in puree and cut back on the total liquid because the chicken would add liquid itself. Also, we chopped some pimento stuffed green olives and added them at the very end. Very definitely umami-lishious!
So many way to cook Arroz con Pollo, all of then look beautiful and so delicious. Add some red kidney bean aside in juice tomato sauce and a well chiled glass of white wine. I love a pinot grillio.
I made this last night, it was a huge hit. We’ll definitely be adding this to our list of regulars.
I cheated a little on the chicken stock, I just used boullion cubes to make broth, it was still delicious, though probably not as healthy :)
Also, I used boneless skinless chicken breasts because that’s what I had on hand. Still came out perfect.
We made this from a neighbor’s recipe when we lived in Brazil…called “Galinhada”…they make it on stovetop in huge pots with an entire skin-on chicken, sometimes two, cut into small pieces. They rub the chicken with only garlic cloves, salt, pepper, lime juice, before browning in lard. They don’t tomatoes, but lots of onions and garlic, as in a whole head of garlic –about 15 cloves–per each chicken. Some add bacon or Polish sausage sliced, once the liquid is added, as for cassoulet, and add some wine to the stock. The only green vegetable I saw was lots of parsley, like 1 or 2 cups, chopped w/ the stems and added w/ the stock. They simmer longer, at a lower temp than this recipe-I bring to a boil,then simmer at very low temp for 45 min to an hour w/ a long grain rice. The rice is much like a risotto. Unbelievably good.
When I moved to Ireland this was the dish I missed most. When I wanted to make it I finally copped for the international phone call to my fav place that does it to beg for their specific recipe cause I wanted it done right. Jose was a sweetie and obliged when he heard my sob story (in my very bad Spanish!). That recipe was similar to many of the variations except for one difference that I suspect was Jose’s trademark: He added a splash of orange juice with the stock. It doesn’t make it noticabley citrus-y or sweet, but added a depth of flavour that complimented his rather spicy variety.
I love arroz con pollo, it’s the first meal I always miss when I’m away from home.
Usually we have it with mole (chocolate sauce) on the chicken!
If you put stuffed bell peppers on top, it really adds to the flavor. Old bay spice also works well
I just finished making this. I used what I had on hand, so instead of paprika, I used cumin. I also added in cilantro instead of oregano. I tastes great, and I’ll make it again. And again.
I made this last week, and it was just amazing! They loved the rice so much, I had to make another batch to go with the leftover chicken. Just wanted to say THANKS – it was delicious!
This is my new favorite recipe, and I can’t wait to make it with olives in it (my boyf hates them so I can’t use it in the general recipe).
One addition, though. We’re trying to lose weight and so we’ve been using the olive oil spray rather than bottled olive oil. It worked really well for this recipe. It worked even better for browning the rice.
We also added broccoli to it. I steamed the broccoli, but instead of the usual 10 minutes in the steamer, I only put it in for 8 and added it in with the chicken. It adds a veggie taste for those who don’t like peppers or have a milder palate. (Like my boyf).
Yum. My puerto rican upbringing recalls a different sort of Rice and Chicken experience…
Homemade Sofrito & Recaito, a bit of finely chopped ham or fatback fried in with the chicken, olives w/ pimento,garlic, safron, achiote oil and chicken broth….always dark and light meat together…
Sticky sort of rice with tender chicken falling off the bone. I think Daisy Martinez’s recipe (PBS show) is pretty close to the one I remember.
I used this recipe for a school project, for “week or foreign countries,” and my classmates and other students loved it. THANKS!
You have done it this time. Bravo! This is my families all time favorite dish. I love all the tasty variations. I learned my recipe from a Cuban lady. She added red peppers and peas and chopped salt pork or bacon while browning the chicken. Oregano is the main herb. I use lots of it. I also prefer the dryer dish. I brown the chicken, salt pork, then add the rice and fry it until it is golden. I then add the wet ingredients and pop it into an oven to bake. I use an iron and enamel casserole pot with a lid for a richer, deeper flavor. When I am feeling Southwestern I skip the red pepper and use red New Mexico chile pods that I have pulverized with garlic and a little water in my blender.
I made this for my family tonight and it was a huge hit. I made a few changes. I roasted cherry tomatoes with a little garlic, cumin, olive oil and liquid smoke instead of canned tomatoes. I took a hint from my friend who grew up in the Panama zone and replaced one cup of coconut milk for some of the broth. I added red pepper to the onions and garlic. I used some Basmati rice I had on hand. The cooking instructions were perfect. I have made rice dishes before where the rice is either still raw, or the dish is too soggy. This was perfect. Thanks.
I was so excited to see this recipe! Arroz con pollo is one of my most fav dishes from my days studying abroad in Costa Rica, but I never knew how to make it. I ran out and bought the needed ingredients right away and made it last night for dinner. My husband is still gushing about it 24 hours later!!!
I do mine Tex-Mex style from a recipe that my ex-wife’s Abuela gave me. It uses sauteed onion, bell peppers (or poblanos), garlic, comino and oregano in the rice. 1 small can of tomato sauce (or a healthy dose of Knorr Tomato Consumate, which my kids adore but I don’t use any longer.)added in with the water gives just the right red color. Salt to taste. Peas in at the last few minutes.
The chicken gets salt and pepper before being browned as it picks up flavor from the seasonings in the rice as they simmer together.
You might want to try pimenton, Spanish oak-smoked paprika. It has a VERY distinctive flavor and comes in 3 styles: sweet, bitter-sweet (medium hot), and hot. Your recipe is great as a starter, but there are really a million versions (I know; I counted) out there. My late wife and I battled about saffron or not. Never solved it after 43 years. Does anyone have the recipe and cooking times for the duck paella that was mentioned in one of the comments?
I keep seeing mentions of recipes that use green olives. I’ve never had it this way – does anyone have a recipe they could share?
Ok, it’s time for another episode of stupid cooking question:
Why add or not add saffron? As my name suggests, I know little about cooking, but near as I can tell, saffron doesn’t add a whole lot of flavor, and would probably get completely overwhelmed in a dish like this.
So what gives?
Saffron will give the rice a more yellow color. As for the taste, saffron is quite distinctive and you would know it if there was any saffron in this dish. ~Elise
What a coincidence, I made this yesterday for some friends (before it was recipe of the day). It went down really well, they said I had raised the bar for cooking! I put about a glass of white wine with the stock, and and sprinkled toasted pine nuts on top when I served it. And the leftover rice has made me a rice salad for lunch today. Delicious!
This sounds like a great recipe. I’m an utter begginer in the kitchen and I want to give my fiance a nice home cooked meal like this. One question though when you add the rice to brown is it after you cook it or is it still raw? Thanks a million for posting this recipe.
You brown the rice when it is still raw. ~Elise
I just made the Arroz con pollo, of course, slightly modified, and we loved it! Added a touch of chili to the paprika, saffron and added peas at the end, no flour dredging.
I made this for dinner this weekend – thumbs up from all the family. I sneakily used Brown Rice (which my husband and son say they don’t like). They copped it, but they still loved it. Next time I’m going to add a couple of dried Kashmiri chillis to the rice to give it a little kick. This will be a regular dish for our family from now on – thanks for sharing it.
I went to a Cuban restaurant a few days ago in Palo Alto, CA for my son’s birthday and the Arroz con Pollo was very bland. I told my wife that I could make it better. I used your recipe and my wife loved it! It was much better than the restaurant’s dish. Thank you.
I like to put green bell peppers and scallions in mine. I also shred the chicken and mix it with the rice. We serve it with ripe sliced fried plantains (platano macho or maduro, the darker the skin the better), boiled yuca (most latino markets), “sunny side up” eggs and a simple tomato and onion salad dressed with olive oil and vinegar.
This is a good beginner recipe. Peas, pimentos, olives,tomatoes, and yellow saffron-flavored rice are a must if you want more of an authentic Central-South American taste and look. Yes, the rice and chicken are initially browned a little in oil … no flour though, I think that part is some sort of North American thing.
Different countries prepare this dish in their own special way.
Here is MY recipe :o)Arroz con polloIngredients (serves 4)• 2 tsp olive oil • 1 brown onion, halved, coarsely chopped • 1 garlic clove, crushed • 6 (about 600g) chicken thigh fillets, halved crossways • 1 tsp ground cumin • 1 tsp ground sweet paprika • 1/2 tsp saffron threads • 150g (3/4 cup) long-grain white rice • 1 x 400g can diced Italian Roma tomatoes • 250ml (1 cup) chicken stock • 1 tbs tomato paste • 200g fire-roasted peeled whole peppers (Always Fresh brand), coarsely chopped • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh continental parsleyMethod1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until onion softens. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes or until brown all over. Add the cumin, paprika and saffron and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add the rice, tomatoes and chicken stock, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes or until chicken and rice are tender. 2. Add the tomato paste, peppers and parsley, and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until heated through. Remove from heat. Divide the arroz con pollo among serving bowls and serve immediately.
This version is really interesting but my favorite one is the one we make in Peru. Here we make it with cilantro, which gives rice this particular green color. My mom makes it with fresh cilantro of our garden. Anyways, this is a beloved dish here in my country and it’s nice to have it featured in recipe blog.
Thanks – a great recipe! It really impressed both myself and my girlfriend. Nice one :D
I cooked this the other night with a few variations (can of fire-roasted tomatoes, just the spices as a rub for the chicken) and it was terrific. My husband, who is hard to please, said, “Add it to the rotation.” Done!
I prefer the more powerfully flavorful Puerto Rican version with olives, pimentos and peas. And I always brown the chicken first. More flavor! Achiote oil gives it a nice bright color. But there are certainly any number of versions of this dish. I believe it originated in the Andalusia region of Spain. The Peruvians also have a version with duck called arroz con pato.
My husband made this last night for dinner and it was delicious! Thanks for a great recipe.
Thanks for the recipe, Elise! We tried this last night for dinner and my husband loved it! I might try it with skinless chicken breasts next time though. Two forks up! :)
This is a family favorite. I got my recipe years ago from a Puerto Rican friend. She added pimento and green peas, and chopped salt pork. I use chopped bacon. This really adds a new dimension to the dish, gilding the lily I suppose. As I am from New Mexico I use chopped dried New Mexican chili, Just a little bit, one pepper, for added punch. Yum. I am making it for dinner now.
My version calls for saffron and finish it off with the peas and pimiento strips (as Jose mentions above)- I use a combination of chicken stock and beer to cook my rice. I do not dredge the chicken with flour for mine.
As Elise mentions, there are many variations on arroz con pollo. The Cuban variant is done with valencia (arborio is good too) rice and more liquid is added to produce a slightly soupy rice. It is also garnished with cooked peas and smoked red pepper.
Hi Elise –
Your version is pretty close to my family’s, though we would all have a cow if someone put bell peppers in ours. :) There are so many variations to this dish – you’re right. We have always made it a dry dish like you, but my favorite restaurant rendition comes in a soup bowl and has a lot of broth in it.
I love Arroz con pollo! It’s a favorite to make for company because it’s so colorful and flavorful. (It also stretches real well – which is important since there are 8 members of my family to start with!) I like to make it with the canned diced tomatoes w/oregano and garlic. And my sister-in-law, who is of Puerto Rican descent said I HAD to add chopped green olives w/the onions and garlic. I top with rinsed frozen peas and diced fresh red bell peppers for a beautiful presentation. My girlfriend’s father is cuban and she said it tasted just like his.
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