Green Arroz con Pollo (Peruvian Arroz con Pollo)

Dinner, Quick and Easy, Winter

It’s been rainy and cold in Los Angeles the past week and obviously I have loved every second of it. It’s been glorious to put on a big sweater and cook some food. This has been on my list to make because it’s so good and cozy. And yes, I will admit that it’s not the most photogenic food but whatever. It’s rice and chicken!

This differs a lot from your typical arroz con pollo. The mixture that makes it green is a big bunch of cilantro, garlic, onion, jalapeño and stock all blended in a blender. This makes a delicious, flavorful broth mixture that is combined with the rice. This is what makes it super delicious and flavorful. It tastes bright and earthy and spicy.

The spice definitely chills out as it cooks with the rice. The chicken is so good and falls off the bone. The little guy on top is killer. It’s called Salsa Criolla and my mom used to make it when we were eating really boring things like lentils or beans. It transforms anything that might be a bit mundane and not so flavorful. Lucky for us, the rice is flavorful and then you add this and it adds even more flavor. It’s amazing.

Over the holiday break, my mom made it and we put it on tamales. It’s really the best thing ever and deserves its place on nearly everything.

Green Arroz con Pollo (Peruvian Arroz con Pollo)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6


    Green Arroz con Pollo:
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch of cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 3 cups of chicken stock or water, divided
  • 2 bone-in thighs
  • 3 bone-in drumsticks
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup rice
  • Salsa Criolla:
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • 1/2 jalapeño, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • Salt


    To Make the Green Arroz con Pollo:
  1. To a blender, add the onion, garlic cloves, cilantro, jalapeño, cumin, paprika and about 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth. Pulse until completely smooth. It will smell crazy spicy—don’t worry! It’ll mellow out as it cooks. Set aside.
  2. Sprinkle the chicken with a liberal amount of salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven or medium pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add chicken, skin side down, until browned, about 5 minutes. If you have a screen guard for the pot, use it because the oil may jump out of the pot. Flip the chicken, using tongs, and cook on opposite side until golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. You want to practically cook it all the way through. Remove the chicken and transfer to a plate or cutting board.
  3. To the pot, add the rice and toast it for about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring regularly. Next, pour in the cilantro mixture. And then pour in about an additional cup of broth/water. Place chicken atop of rice mixture. Bring the pot to a simmer and then reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, for about 45 to 50 minutes, and until rice is tender. Note: Throughout the cooking process, I checked on it every 15-20 minutes or so and topped it off with about 1/4 cup of stock each time, if needed. In the end, I added 3 cups of chicken stock total. Also, in the last 15 minutes, I salted to taste, adding about 1 teaspoon more of salt.
  4. To Make the Salsa Criolla:
  5. To a medium bowl, mix together the red onion, juice from 2 limes, jalapeño and minced cilantro. Add a few pinches of salt and let marinate for about 10 to 15 minutes. Give it a taste just before serving and adjust the salt to your liking.
  6. To Serve:
  7. Divide the arroz con pollo amongst bowls and top with a spoonful of salsa criolla.

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  • Reply Iris March 12, 2018 at 3:02 am

    This looks so yummy!! My mother in law makes this and it is so tasty! I must say I am not a lover of cilantro ( I know I’m Latin and it’s like in everything!) but you really don’t taste all that cilantro, it like cooks out or something. I’m going to make this for the hubby!

  • Reply Sara March 12, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Not a lover of cilantro either. Could I sub in parsley? Or would that not work?

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme March 13, 2018 at 1:06 pm

      Unfortunately that’s the whole flavor of the dish. Try my regular arroz con pollo! You’ll like that one 🙂

      • Reply Sara March 14, 2018 at 8:37 am

        Ok, thanks. I think I’ll try it with the cilantro :). Is the ratio to rice/water correct? I was under the assumption that rice is a 1/2 to water. Thanks again!

  • Reply Flor Barajas Tena March 12, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    Adrianna, I made this tonight and it seems like a cross between your aguadito and your arroz con pollo- which I have in my rotation for my. It was a hit. The salsa criolla was my favorite part. Thanks again for all of your delicious recipes, the flavors are always on point.

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme March 14, 2018 at 8:24 pm

      It truly is! The cilantro liquid is my favorite thing ever and it’s very close to the aguadito. I have also made this cilantro liquid and braised other meats in it and it’s SO good. So glad you love it! xo

  • Reply Barbara Williams March 14, 2018 at 10:49 am

    I’ve been searching for this to make for my son’s girlfriend (she’s Peruvian). Can’t wait to try it! Thanks!

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme March 14, 2018 at 8:23 pm

      Awww let me know how it turns out. I hope she loves it!

  • Reply Crystal March 20, 2018 at 7:59 am

    I love cilantro. Can’t wait to try this recipe, it has all the spices that add that flavor we like so much at our place and will be a new healthy dish this weekend to try out. Thanks!

  • Reply Green Arroz con Pollo (Peruvian Arroz con Pollo) – My Blog April 15, 2018 at 2:06 am

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  • Reply GABY September 9, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    Only 3/4 of rice? This is enough? Thanks!

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme September 10, 2018 at 11:05 am

      yes it’s enough! doesn’t sound like a lot but it ends up feeding 4 people 🙂

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