My arroz con pollo Peruano recipe marries lager beer, peppery aji amarillo, fresh cilantro, and spicy jalapenos for a dinner that everyone will talk about!
The Peruvian take on standard chicken and rice recipes brings a regional spin to this dish. If you compare this to Mexican chicken recipes, you’ll notice this one uses a different cut of chicken, different styles of beer, different seasoning, and additional veggies.
If you think all chicken recipes are the same and rice is bland, I challenge you to try this arroz con pollo Peruano recipe. One bite, and you’ll be in Peru!
Make it a first Sunday tradition to try each one! For the other days of the week when you are craving some south of the border cuisine, you might enjoy my Mexican pollo asado, burrito bowl, or Mexican meatballs!
I love taking a dish that most people think is plain — chicken and rice — and surprising them with a flavor wonderland. This recipe cranks up the deliciousness to the max!
- All the flavor notes!
- Everyone will want seconds
- Uniquely Peruvian ingredients for cultural fun!
- Taco Tuesday wishes it had dishes this good!
How To Make Arroz Con Pollo Peruano Recipe
My arroz con pollo Peruano recipe requires a few culinary skills, but I promise, it’s all very doable!
You’ll start by pureeing the cilantro and browning the seasoned chicken. Next, you’ll want to sauté the onion with the garlic and other seasonings. Then, in the order listed below, add the remaining ingredients and cook until the rice is tender. Peas go in last so they don’t turn to mush!
There may be a lot of ingredients in this recipe, but they all add up to a meal that is totally worthwhile. You got this!
Think of arroz con pollo as a Latin American analog to lasagna. While the basics remain the same, many cultures and households have their own version that centers around chicken and rice, but the spices, veggies, and flavors vary from culture to culture.
What makes this recipe special? Read on!
You might not have heard of some of these ingredients, but I’m here to walk through the recipe!
Aji Amarillo: This recipe uses aji amarillo, which literally translates to “yellow chili.” This is one of the most significant Peruvian flavors, so don’t skip it! Your final dish just won’t be the same without it. If you can’t find the whole dried chiles, you can totally substitute with dried habanero or for fresh aji substitute serrano chiles.
Cilantro: Rinse your cilantro very, very well! Cilantro is often grown in sand, and failure to wash it will result in gritty particles in your final dish. No one wants that!
Lager Beer: Lager beer is “crisp,” while ales are “fruity.” Lagers (think Budweiser and Heineken) use a different type of yeast than ales, so they bring an entirely different flavor profile to your dish. You can pick up lager from the grocery or liquor store.
Rice: People sometimes make arroz con pollo Peruano en olla arrocera, “in a rice cooker.” In this recipe, I recommend cooking the rice in a large pot with all the other ingredients so it has time to absorb all of the wonderful flavors.
You work hard to make delicious meals for your family — how should you store the leftovers to make sure your hard work doesn’t go to waste? Read on!
Can You Freeze This?
Yes! Thoroughly cool the leftovers from your arroz con pollo recipe and store in an airtight container. I like to portion out my leftovers for easy grab and go meals. However you portion them, you’ll get six months out of them in the freezer.
Make Ahead Tips
This arroz con pollo Peruano recipe depends on layering flavors just right to get the full impact of these ingredients. Which gives you a mouthwatering final dish — but isn’t so good if you want to cut time!
You can always try to shave off some minutes by chopping your veggies ahead of time. You can safely store cut veggies in airtight containers in the fridge for up to five days.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
You’ll be the talk of your work when you bring this as a lunch leftover! Portion it out, and you’ll get up to four days out of your leftovers in the fridge.
Remember how I said there are tons of versions of arroz con pollo? Let’s see what changes we can play with!
- Technically, you can cook this recipe in an Instant Pot . . . but should you? I wouldn’t. So much of the punch of this dish depends on layering each ingredient, so you lose a lot of the flavor by rushing it. Instead, try out my Instant Pot chicken and rice meal, or my Instant Pot chicken and rice soup when you’re in a hurry!
- I wouldn’t recommend cooking this in a crockpot! There are recipes that do well in slow cookers, but I’d skip it for this recipe. Go for crockpot chicken and rice or slow cooker chicken enchiladas — recipes designed to specifically cook in a Crockpot!
- Now grilling would bring a whole new flavor profile to this dish! Mexican grilled chicken is particularly delicious and a great way to zest up your dishes. Cilantro lime chicken is already pretty close to the chicken in this recipe! If you want true classic Spanish chicken, try Pollo Asado. You’ll never get Mexican take out again!
- Spicier? I like your thinking! Aji Amarillo is already pretty spicy on its own, so if you want more heat, add more paste. For similar spicy recipes, try chili lime chicken — that citrus balances the heat so well! Or fiesta chicken, which is great as a taco filling.
- I love Mexican shredded chicken is great to make for parties! And Mexican chicken casserole is perfect for family dinner!
Arroz Con Pollo Peruano
- 1 small bunch cilantro leaves, most stems removed, washed well
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 pounds bone-in chicken breast, with skin on
- salt and black pepper
- 1/4 cup corn oil
- 1 cup white onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons yellow pepper paste (Ají Amarillo)
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 3/4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup lager beer
- 3/4 cup carrots, diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 2 cups rice
- 1/2 cup frozen peas thawed
- Process cilantro in a blender with water until most of it is pureed. (I run my blender, on high, 3-4 seconds, scraping down sides of blender with a rubber spatula in between each time.) Set aside.
- Pat chicken pieces with paper towels to remove any moisture from the packaging. Generously season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.
- In a large pot heat, 1/4 cup oil until it just begins to shimmer. Brown chicken, in batches, so as not to crowd the pan, on both sides. Removed browned chicken to a plate.
- Remove all but 2 tablespoons of oil in the pot. Add the onion, garlic, and Yellow Pepper Paste and saute until the onion is soft and translucent about 7-9 minutes.
- Add the cumin, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to the pot and increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, until cumin becomes fragrant.
- Add cilantro puree and continue to cook on medium-high for 3 minutes.
- Pour in the chicken broth, beer, carrots, red bell pepper, jalapeno, rice, and the browned chicken back to the pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to the lowest setting and simmer until the rice is tender about 35 minutes. Add the peas into the pan and cook an additional 5 minutes or until peas are heated through.
- Serve family style, on a large platter, rice piled in the center and chicken on top.
Love the pairing of tender chicken with fluffy rice? Here are some other chicken and rice favorites!
- Chicken and Rice Bake – Pop it in the oven and go on!
- No Peek Chicken – Try not to look — the flavor will thank you.
- Chicken Divan – Luxury in your kitchen
- Southern Chicken and Rice – Hearty comfort food!
- Campbells Chicken and Rice – The one, the only — the classic!
I hope this arroz con pollo Peruano recipe showed you how utterly sensational these small regional changes can be to chicken and rice. What many see as a standard, simple dish is deceptively complex and decadent! Go forth and spread the word — arroz con pollo is amazing!
How spicy do you like your Spanish dishes? Let me know in the comments!