Arroz con Pollo is a rice and chicken taste bud fiesta! A hearty mix of colors and flavors with a generous quantity of vegetables, so indulge away!
Arroz con Pollo is a wonderful colorful chicken and rice dish native to Spain and Latin America, and soon to be a frequent guest at your dining room table! While the presentation is irresistible on its own – some people even shape the rice into cute little cylinders. Even more enjoyable are all the subtle layers of flavors. There’s a bacon flavor layered over chicken, layered over rice and several veggies, to be discovered among six different spices, in addition to … wait for it … a dark beer flavor! And if you grow tired of one version of Arroz con Pollo, fear not. In addition to the Mexican version, there’s Arroz Con Pollo Colombiano, Peruvian, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Costa Rican — and those are just the varieties touched on in this article. This dish is truly the gift that keeps on giving.
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS RECIPE:
- Prep time is just 10 minutes!
- Broadening my family’s culinary horizons is always a bonus.
- All the flavors really come together into something special.
- I love that it only creates one dirty pot!
What is Arroz con Pollo?
Arroz con Pollo receta is a traditional chicken and rice dish in Latin America and Spain. The name literally translates to “rice with chicken.” It is a delicious one-pot meal that incorporates bacon, peppers, onion, and peas in addition to the rice and chicken! Sabroso!
What Ingredients Do You Need To Make Arroz con Pollo?
My Arroz con Pollo recipe is comprised of numerous ingredients, hence the uniquely interesting flavor! This is not a plain rice dish! You will need five strips of bacon (these add amazing flavor) and eight chicken thighs with the bone and skin.
For veggies, you need two cups of chopped white onion, two cups of chopped green bell peppers, and a cup of frozen petite peas. “Petite peas are less starchy with a sweeter flavor than their regular counterparts”, according to Cook’s Illustrated. This recipe calls for three and a half cups of converted rice, which is a white rice made from brown rice that has been soaked, steamed, dried, and milled.
As for spices and other flavor boosters, you will need salt, black pepper, ground cumin, dried oregano, six cloves of garlic, 32 ounces of chicken broth, 12 ounces of dark beer, a small can of tomato paste, a tablespoon of Bijol powder (check out the note below!), and three bay leaves. Here is a list of dark beer brands from The Beer Connoisseur, and a list of dark beer types from Liquorista, in case dark brews aren’t your area of expertise!
How To Make Arroz con Pollo:
This easy Arroz con Pollo is made in three basic steps. First, you brown the meats, then you sauté the veggies, and finally, you boil the rice along with the remaining ingredients! Although there are a lot of ingredients, it’s really not that complicated when you get down to it!
Authentic Arroz con Pollo Recipe:
My authentic Arroz con Pollo recipe is culturally authentic. While it’s fun to experiment, sometimes it’s nice to study and try to master the original! Of course the definition of authentic varies depending on the region you hail from.
Arroz con Pollo
- 5 Strips Bacon
- 8 Chicken Thighs Bone and Skin On
- To Taste Salt
- To Taste Black Pepper
- To Taste Dried Ground Cumin
- 2 Cups White Onion Chopped
- 2 Cups Green Bell Peppers Chopped
- 6 Garlic Cloves Chopped
- 32 Ounces Chicken Broth
- 1-12 Ounce Dark Beer
- 1-8 Ounces Tomato Paste
- 1 Tablespoon Bijol Powder
- 3 Dried Bay Leaves
- 2 Tablespoons Dried Oregano
- 2 Tablespoons Dried Ground Cumin
- 2 Teaspoons Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 3 1/2 cups Converted Rice
- 1 Cup Frozen Petite Peas
- Saute bacon in a large pan. When cooked remove bacon from pan and chop. Meanwhile, season chicken thighs generously with salt, pepper, and cumin. Increase temperature of the pan that has bacon fat still in it to medium-high. Add chicken and brown chicken well on both sides. Remove chicken to a platter and set aside.
- In same pan add onion and pepper and saute until veggies are soft and onion is translucent. Add chopped garlic and continue to cook about 3 minutes.
- Add chicken broth, beer, tomato paste, Bijol, bay leaf, oregano, cumin, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pe, per and chopped bacon. Stir in rice. Add chicken. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 35-45 minutes or until rice is fully cooked and chicken is tender. Toss the peas into 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. YUM
Recipe Notes For Arroz Con Pollo Recipe:
Bijol powder: This is the ingredient that gives Mexican rice that classic orange coloration. It is commonly used as a coloring substitute for saffron, which can be quite expensive. Bijol powder is made from annatto seeds and has a subtly sweet and peppery taste. You can learn more fun information about annatto from this Smithsonian article, like the fact that it also gives cheddar cheese its color, and that it comes from a “lipstick tree”!
Can You Make Ahead Of Time?
You surely can. Pollo con Arroz will keep in the fridge for about four days, and in the freezer for up to three months. Just add a little water if necessary when reheating.
How Do You Freeze?
One reason people love this meal is its easy freezability. Just cool the rice, portion it into freezer containers, label it, and store! When you are ready to reheat, you will likely want to add a couple teaspoons of water to replace lost moisture content.
What Do You Serve With This:
To prepare a spread around your Arroz con Pollo America’s Test Kitchen would admire, consider staying on theme! Try Mexican-style coleslaw, Mexican street corn, or a small bowl of cold avocado soup. If you don’t have time to make something fancy, a simple side salad will complement the rice nicely!
More Delicious Variations To Try Next:
Mexican Arroz con Pollo Recipe:
As mentioned earlier, Spain and several Latin American countries lay claim to this dish. Mexican Arroz con Pollo Recipe, or Arroz con Pollo Mexicano both offer flavors that says Mexico!
Arroz con Pollo Peruano:
Arroz Con Pollo Peruano is the Peruvian version of the meal! Check out the “Land of the Incas’” take on this recipe.
Puerto Rican Arroz con Pollo:
Puerto Rican Arroz con Pollo is yet another fabulous iteration of this traditional dish!
Arroz con Pollo Colombiano:
Arroz con Pollo Colombiano, Columbia’s version of rice with chicken and with its regional flavor!
Arroz Con Pollo Cubano:
Arroz Con Pollo Cubano often incorporates vinegar, white wine, and olive oil. Add Cuban Arroz Con Pollo Recipe to your “New Recipes To Try”list!
More Chicken Recipes:
- Million Dollar Chicken – lives up to its name, with rich satisfying flavors – a golden roasted skin and juicy – tender meat!