Arroz con Pollo – a fantastic one-pot chicken and rice meal featuring layers of perfectly seared juicy chicken meat, super flavorful rice and loads of veggies. An easy, loaded meal that comes together in less than an hour!
One-pot meals are a few of those dishes that are enjoyed all year round. And *THE* best one-pot dinner I could think of is none other than chicken and rice. I mean, chicken and rice PLUS veggies in just one pan are a total home run for all busy Mamas.
Today’s recipe literally means chicken and rice in Spanish. Just a heads up this one here is *NOT* super traditional. But I made sure to nail down some of the basics like seasoned and seared chicken, rice, tomatoes, bell peppers and various spices to make it easy and accessible for most of our readers. Let’s get going! 😉
What is Arroz con Pollo?
Admittedly, this recipe isn’t for the purist. Arroz con Pollo or chicken and rice is a Spanish or Latin American dish that has several variations from country to country. If you happen to be familiar with Spain’s famous Paella dish, we could say that this one is somewhat related to that – a cousin, perhaps.
Today, there are arguably more variations of Arroz con Pollo outside of Spain – Puerto Rico, Cuba, Peru, etc – each having their own unique way of making this utterly divine dish. Some would feature a beer, sofrito, olives, peas, Bijol powder, saffron and so much more.
What is Arroz con Pollo Made Of?
So what I did instead is that I handpicked what I thought would basically describe what an Arroz con Pollo could be in its simplest form. Following a recipe specific to a country would also mean that not everyone could easily enjoy this hearty and comforting dish. With all that being said, let’s go breakdown what makes this easy version here a family hit all the time!
While I do love chicken thighs, this time around I used a variety of chicken cuts. However, I do highly recommend that you use the bone-in one as it adds so much flavor to this recipe. And yes, you may remove the chicken skin, if desired.
I don’t hold back in seasoning my recipes. Obviously, the ingredient list is quite intimidating to look at, but trust, that long list makes this dish a winning recipe every time. Here I use salt, pepper and Sazon seasoning to season my chicken. I also have onion, garlic and bell pepper which are commonly used in most of the Arroz con Pollo versions. In addition, I also use Cumin for that earthy flavor and color, bay leaf for that irresistible smell and paprika and cayenne pepper for that added smokiness and heat.
This adds a concentrated flavor which is essential to this dish. Tomato paste is different from tomato sauce, for those not familiar with it. The sauce is the liquidy one, while tomato paste is a tomato sauce that has been reduced until thick.
Tip: You may substitute tomato paste using this ratio: 1 tbsp. tomato paste = 2-3 tbsp. puree or sauce OR 1 tbsp tomato paste = 1 tbsp chopped/canned tomatoes.
Peas and Corn
When you think it’s all just chicken and rice, I also threw in some veggies to make it a complete meal. I use frozen peas and frozen corn which you don’t necessarily need to thaw.
Deglazing the pan with white wine is a great technique to make this dish even more flavorful. Here, I use a dry white wine like Chardonnay or you may also replace it with Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.
Tip: Don’t have white wine? Don’t worry, you may simply replace it with the same amount of water. Although it won’t enhance the flavor of this dish, it will just replace the liquid volume as intended. Also, check out these other white wine substitutes HERE.
For this recipe, I use uncooked long grain rice. You may also Basmati rice but NOT short or medium-grain rice, arborio or brown rice as the ratio and cooking time will have to be adjusted.
Please be reminded to use low-sodium chicken broth. If using water + chicken bouillon to replace chicken broth, please use the ratio below. Don’t forget to adjust the amount of salt in this recipe as bouillon cubes also contain salt.
Tip: 1 cup broth = 1 cup water + 1 bouillon cube or 1 teaspoon instant bouillon granules
Can I Use Boneless Chicken Breast?
Yes, you can, but you have to use your best judgement to adjust the cooking time as this recipe is written using bone-in chicken meat.
How to Store Leftovers?
For any leftover Arroz con Pollo, store them in an airtight container and place in the fridge for 3-4 days. But I doubt if there’ll be any leftovers. 😄
More Chicken and Rice Recipes
One-pot Puerto Rican Chicken and Rice (with video)
Jambalaya (with video)
Chicken Biryani Recipe (with video)
One Pot Caribbean Jerk Chicken & Rice (with video)
How To Make Arroz con Pollo
Pat dry chicken and season all over with salt, pepper and Sazon seasoning or your favorite chicken seasoning. Preheat oven to 350F.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add chicken to skillet skin side down and cook until golden, 5 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and set aside on a plate. To the same skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium heat; add onion, bell pepper, garlic and thyme. Sauté until fragrant and onions are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Add in the remaining ingredients; oregano, bay leaf, paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper and tomato paste. Stir for about a minute. Deglaze the pan with white wine and cook for about 2 minutes till most of the wine evaporates. Then add in the rice, corn and peas, cook until coated with ingredients.
Pour in chicken broth and water, give it a stir.
Add chicken back to the skillet, bring it to a boil. Cover the skillet with a lid and bake for about 30 minutes until the rice is cooked through. Remove let it cool, garnish with cilantro and lemon slices and serve.
Arroz con Pollo
- 3-3 ½ pounds chicken cut in 8 halves or 2 lb chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon or more sazon seasoning(optional) Sub with favorite chicken seasoning or black pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil or any cooking oil
- 1 large onion , chopped
- 1 red bell pepper , chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (optional)
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ cup white wine (sub with chicken broth)
- 2 cups rice long grain, uncooked
- ½-1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- ½ -1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 ¼- 1 ½ cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
- ¼ cup cilantro , chopped for garnishing
- lemon slices , for garnishing
- Pat dry chicken and season with salt, pepper and taco seasoning, if desired. Preheat
oven to 350F.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add chicken to skillet skin side down and cook until golden, 5 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and set aside on a plate.
- To same skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium heat; add onion, bell pepper, garlic and thyme. Sauté until fragrant and onions is translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add in the remaining ingredients; oregano, bay leaf, paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper and tomato paste, stir for about a minute. Deglaze the pan with white wine and cook for about 2 minutes till most of the wine evaporates.
- Then add in the rice, corn and peas, cook until coated with ingredients.
- Pour in chicken broth and water, give it a stir. Add chicken back to the
skillet and bring it to a boil.
- Cover skillet with a lid and bake for about 30 minutes until the rice is cooked through.
- Remove let it cool, garnish with cilantro and lemon slices and serve.
Tips & Notes:
- Depending on the brand of rice that you use, the amount of chicken broth/water might vary slightly. Look to the package instructions to see the recommended ratio. I prefer to err on the side of slightly less broth.
- The amount of broth used also depends on the size of the chicken pieces. Larger
pieces turn to ooze out more juice providing more moisture thus use slightly less liquid.
- This recipe also works well with born-in chicken drumsticks and thighs or a
combination of both. I prefer bone in cut chicken because it has more flavor and