Arroz Con Pollo


I don’t have many pet peeves. I don’t have many qualms. Not many…but I do have one. Here it is: it really irks me when people pull–what I like to call–a “Giada.” Let me preface this by saying I like Giada, actually. I like her food. It’s simple and delicious. Her baby is cute, her hair is super pretty, her Malibu beach home is cute, I even think her dude Todd seems nice. But when she pronounces ricotta all, like, “rrrriiiicotta!!!” I kinda want to punch something. Like, why is it so hard to just pronounce ricotta like ricotta. We get you’re Italian. We know that. Thanks for the “rrrrricccottta” reminder, Giada. Thanks.

Why am I telling you this…? Because in this video on this page, I pulled a “Giada.” I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t. When it came time to say “arroz con pollo” I kinda tried to say it like an American girl and say, “aros con polo,” but my brain/tongue wouldn’t allow it, so there I am rolling the “r” while secretly hating myself. If any of you speak Spanish, you can actually hear me kinda half it. I’m trying to meet half way with it, trying to say it like I should be, but I fail. So, if you decide that I now annoy you and you don’t like me, I’ll understand. I will. Just come back tomorrow–there will be no video, no talking, just words and some more food.

In unrelated Giada news, I do love this recipe–it might actually be my favorite recipe on this entire blog. In the intro you’ll hear me explain how it was a recipe tinkered with by my grandfather and dad for a few years. I remember them cooking in the kitchen together. Their dichotomy was interesting, to say the least. My dad is probably one of the most positive, upbeat people I know (think of me, post coffee!!), while my grandfather was sort of a salty, half-glass empty kind of man. The way their two personalities worked in the kitchen resulted in hilarity…and one really awesome recipe for arroz con pollo.

(Recipe after the jump!)

Arroz Con Pollo

2 tablespoon olive oil
4 chicken thighs (skin on)
2 drumsticks (skin on)
1 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 Roma Tomatoes, peeled and minced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon tumeric powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon saffron
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 3/4 cup (14 ounce bag) of Valencia rice
4 cups chicken stock

1. In a dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add chicken, skin side down, until browned, about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken, using tongs, and cook on opposite side until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to plate and set aside.

2. Reduce heat to medium, add onion, and cook until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add garlic to the top of the onions and cook until fragrant; 2 minutes or so. Throw in tomatoes and red bell pepper. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pot removing any of the chicken fat pieces (hello! flavor!!). Next, add spices: cumin, tumeric, paprika, saffron, crushed red pepper, a teaspoon of salt and mix.

3. Dump in rice, being sure to coat with the tomato mixture. Place chicken atop of rice mixture, and pour just enough chicken stock to cover the rice, about 2 cups. 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. In the end, I added 4 cups of chicken stock total. Also, in the last 15 minutes, I salted to taste, adding about 1 teaspoon more of salt.

Serves 4

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Leave a Reply

  • Reply Becki's Whole Life March 20, 2012 at 4:29 am

    This sounds wonderful, I love arroz con pollo and this is a great recipe for it! Cute video…I have the same pet peeve when i watch Giada (as well as some other people who do this.) You don’t sound that way though…you sound more natural:-).

    • Reply Adrianna March 21, 2012 at 5:13 pm

      Thank you, lady!

  • Reply ileana March 20, 2012 at 5:35 am

    Naturally rolling your Rs isn’t the same thing as over-enunciating every word like Giada, which makes it sound like she thinks she’s talking to a clueless audience. I just can’t say Spanish words like a gringa, and I don’t want to anyway. Your “arroz con pollo” sounded natural. It would’ve been weird if you *didn’t* say it that way!

    • Reply Adrianna March 21, 2012 at 5:13 pm

      Haha. Thanks, Ileana! x

  • Reply Mike @TheIronYou March 20, 2012 at 5:48 am

    I honestly love Arroz con Pollo and haven’t had it since I was in Madrid last year…
    I’m definitely gonna venture making this recipe: let’s hope that the outcomes is as awesome as yours!

  • Reply Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray March 20, 2012 at 6:20 am

    I agree with Ileana! It’d be totally weird if you *didn’t* say it the way you normally do! Also, 4 servings my hat…I could eat that whole Dutch oven o’ yumminess. 😉

  • Reply Margarita March 20, 2012 at 6:36 am

    I love arroz con pollo. Just made some two weeks ago…this is a good recipe to try. I see now that saffron is a must have. The other recipe required it too, but I didn’t have any.

    • Reply Adrianna March 21, 2012 at 5:12 pm

      Totally a must! It’s pricey, but it’s totally worth it in this dish.

  • Reply Stephanie Wise March 20, 2012 at 6:56 am

    I think the difference between you and Giada is that it’s really hard to say “arroz con pollo” without a hint of an accent, but seriously, we can definitely all say “spaghetti” without one. Also, this recipe looks delicious; can’t wait to try it!

    • Reply Adrianna March 21, 2012 at 5:12 pm

      This is true.

  • Reply Ashley March 20, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Your post made me laugh. 🙂 If you said “aros con polo” that probably would have been worse! Roll [those r’s] on!

  • Reply Bev Weidner March 20, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Oooooooo, I just LOVE this! And you have such long pretty fingers.

    That came out weird.

    • Reply Adrianna March 21, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      Totally did. But thank you. 🙂

  • Reply IG March 20, 2012 at 7:24 am

    You didn’t pull a “Giada”. Yes, you properly pronounced it without over emphasizing or exaggerating it. As I watched I had no impulse to throw or hit something! Promise!

  • Reply Truly Smitten March 20, 2012 at 8:08 am

    This was an awesome video! And your “arroz con pollo” totally did NOT sound anything like how Giada pronounces “ree-cohh-ttah” – LOL! yours sounded very natural, no worries girl!
    Plus loved your shirt in your vid!

  • Reply Lauren @ Wholewheatorbust March 20, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Bahah that is my pet peeve too! But whateva, its cool when you do it. Especially since you are getting me to try a new recipe. It looks so simple and yet so so good. Those are usually the best recipes!

  • Reply Jillian@TheHumbleGourmet March 20, 2012 at 8:53 am

    I am totally with you on the over-pronounciation; it drives me crazy even though I love her recipes. But don’t worry, I wouldn’t say you “pulled a Giada”. Thanks for the recipe! It looks delicious!

  • Reply Chelsea@Chelseaisdishingup March 20, 2012 at 9:20 am

    My husband always says that about Giada, it drives him crazy. He likes Lydia’s Italy on PBS because she says everything in an Italian accent. Too funny that it bothers so many people. Someone should tell her.

  • Reply Noelle (@singerinkitchen) March 20, 2012 at 9:29 am

    hahahaha, I like the whole ricotta section. I think I will make this tonight! Thanks for the reminder. The meal is always so easy!

  • Reply Shelli March 20, 2012 at 9:42 am

    I was at work reading your blog and totally busted out laughing. I feel the exact same way about Giada. I totally love her, but when she throws out her “Italian” words I want to punch her tiny little body!! Makes me cringe.

  • Reply Brittany March 20, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Oh, the Giada thing… that’s an ongoing joke in my family. We love her, too, but there’s no way to not be bothered by that! Anyway, I agree with everyone else – your pronunciation was legit, don’t worry! This sounds delicious, and so simple. I loooove me some one pot meals.

  • Reply Let Me Eat Cake March 20, 2012 at 9:57 am

    haha while watching i was waiting to see just how Giada you would get but that was so naturally and easy totes not annoying 🙂 just super cute! and dang that arroz con pollo looks good especially with all the steam rising from the chicken I felt like i could smell the saffron so hungry now!

  • Reply Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables March 20, 2012 at 10:06 am

    My fiance says alllll the time that he HATES how Giada talks!!!

  • Reply Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe March 20, 2012 at 10:28 am

    My friend and I pull a Giada whenever we say “parmiggiano reggiano”, just to be funny. She is completely out of control when she says it! Whatever, I’m probably just jealous because I speak English and nothing else.

  • Reply mellissa @ ibreatheimhungry March 20, 2012 at 10:53 am

    OMG! I can’t even watch her because of that same thing! I laughed out loud when you said it made you want to punch something – I can totally relate! It’s ridiculous that it bugs me but I just can’t help it! She is super cute though and I do love a lot of her recipes! Speaking of which your Arroz Con Pollo sounds really delicious!

  • Reply Vicky March 20, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Since I am a native Spanish speaker, I totally understand where you are coming from with the pronunciation of the words. Some words they just need to be pronounced in their native language if you can do it. You really sounded great in you video. Giada is a different story, there is something about her that bothers me too, specially when she pronounces her Italian words. I think it is because it doesn’t sound natural.

  • Reply Leisa March 20, 2012 at 11:59 am

    I totally get the Giada comments–and I concur! She seems nice enough, but just too freaking perfect, maybe that’s why the riiiiicoooootta just doesn’t ring true. As for your Spanish, it was spot on, and much more natural… rest easy! Great recipe 🙂

    • Reply Adrianna March 21, 2012 at 5:11 pm

      Everyone, your comments make me laugh, big time. So glad I’m not alone!!! xo

  • Reply Meghan March 20, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Short and simple: Looks delicious! YOU CRACK ME UP!

  • Reply breakfastatnatalies March 20, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Looks tasty! I haven’t had anything like this since I went to Spain last summer and it’s making me reminisce : )

  • Reply Samantha March 20, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    I’ve been following your recipes for weeks now, but this is the first video I’ve watched. This recipe peaked my interest because my family has our own Arroz con Pollo recipe. We actually call it Arroz con Pollo y Papas. I love the idea of using Valencia rice instead of our traditional long grain and I really want to try out the saffron. Thanks so much for sharing such a wonderful family recipe!

  • Reply Megan March 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Oh, I want to try this recipe! And your shirt is so cute! Love it.

  • Reply Drea March 20, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    I love the video! My pet peeve regarding languages is similar to yours, but I only really hate it when people overpronounce accented words of a language that they don’t speak. For example, lady next to me in line at the breakfast counter, it’s a “cross-aunt,” not a “krwah-SAWWWNNN” or whatever you just said. You’re not French. People who actually speak the language do it much more naturally, like you did in this video! Hope to see more!

    • Reply Adrianna March 21, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      Agreed. Just say croissant. Geez.

  • Reply Jillian @ Newlybread March 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    You are such a great teacher & explainer, really like the video! And I absolutely love that this is a “family heirloom” recipe, makes it even more special.

  • Reply Heather {the lovely cupboard} March 20, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Hah! I have cringed sooo many times when Giada said “ricotta” or “prosciutto” or even “mascarpone”. This post was hilarious…

    • Reply Adrianna March 21, 2012 at 5:10 pm

      Oh her saying mascarpone is out of control. HAHA.

  • Reply Natalee March 20, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Oh gosh, I thought I was the only one who thought that of Giada. I can’t watch her show anymore. You on the other hand sound natural.

  • Reply Reformed Foodie March 21, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Hahaha! Your Giada comment is so funny and spot on – as annoying as it is when people over pronounce foreign words, it’s really hard not to do the same when you speak the language:)

    I read a really funny blog post about this same issue the other day (

    This is a great recipe – and it’s Gluten/Dairy free which is perfect for me:)

  • Reply Karista March 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Hahahaha!!!! This post was so funny I couldn’t stop laughing. I’ve always thought the very same thing when Giada pronounces some of the Italian ingredients. 🙂 Excellent video, very clean, professional. Love it!

  • Reply Melissa@Julia's Bookbag March 21, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Oh you’re funny! I love Giada but please woman, stop it with the rolling “r” ricotta! I pinned this recipe with my very fastest Pinning finger 🙂

  • Reply joelle (on a pink typewriter) March 22, 2012 at 7:33 am

    YUM, I want this asap! So funny about Giada.. I love her but I also think it’s hilar how she wears low-cut shirts whenever she’s cooking.. she has an endless supply it seems. 😉

  • Reply Beth March 22, 2012 at 8:13 am

    1. The same reason I don’t like Giada (also that you can TELL she doesn’t eat her own food… she is way too thin to be eating anything she makes)
    2. Spin. I started last June and am addicted. Good luck in class and losing your weight! I recommend buying a new gym outfit and putting some new music on your ipod

  • Reply Shevon March 22, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Okay, for the longest time whenever I said Giada, my husband would say, “Who?” I would answer with the pretty Italian girl with the cooking show. He would say, “Oh, the one with the big head?” We finally realized that it wasn’t her head that’s big, It’s that the rest of her is tiny.

    I’ve made some of her recipes that were okay. I made one limoncello cheesecake that was a lot of work (the crust was made by grinding amarrrrrrretti cookies) and tasted terrible. The limoncello was overpowering and it just tasted like a booze pie.

  • Reply Nadette@Eat, Read, Rant! March 22, 2012 at 9:49 am

    You’re too cute. I’m in the process of learning spanish, so I find myself rrrolling my rrs in English. These things happen. I’m going to have to make this someday. I will resist the temptation to use arborrio rice. Or maybe I won’t and I’ll make risotto con pollo. only time will tell 🙂

  • Reply Nikkilooch March 23, 2012 at 3:05 am

    I just linked to this post on my blog as one of my favorites from the week.

    I know what you mean about Giada, I speak Italian and it makes me a little crazy when she’s speaking English and throws the Italian pronunciation in there, but I think you’re right. I’d probably do the same thing in her shoes.

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  • Reply April was in CT now CA March 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    1. You are so brave to cook in a white shirt.
    2. You don’t sound like an unnatural doofus.
    3. This looks incredibly, incredibly tasty and I can’t wait to try it.

  • Reply Amanda March 24, 2012 at 9:36 am

    this is my favourite recipe of yours too! I’ve made it so many times now. Being native spanish, and also having a stockpile of high quality saffron direct from a moroccan co-op, I’ve definitely made this recipe my own–but am now an avid fan of yours because I know the great stuff you can come up with!

    • Reply Adrianna March 24, 2012 at 5:12 pm

      This is so awesome.

  • Reply Allison April 7, 2012 at 5:48 am

    I have just been lapping up all of your great recipes and adding them to my to-do list. Your video is super cute and your version of Arroz Con Pollo looks great. I don’t think there is anything wrong with trying to pronounce foreign words correctly. In fact it bothers me more when people over-Americanise things! Giada maybe “blings” it up a bit too much, but hey… that’s Hollywood royalty for you!

  • Reply List: 10 Food Blogs I Love « Reformed Foodie April 9, 2012 at 2:56 pm

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  • Reply yeni April 10, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Our family adds a beer to the pot to cook with everything. It adds great flavor. We also add peas to the mix.
    Enjoyed the video, thanks!

  • Reply Edison April 29, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Looking around for “acp” recipes today, this one looks like one of the best, and the story behind it is great. One question— could the listed portions of saffron and paprika be reversed? That’s a lot of saffron! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Adrianna April 29, 2012 at 5:49 pm

      Thanks so much! Yes, they are correct. 🙂

  • Reply List: Ten Food Blogs I Love « Reformed Foodie May 6, 2012 at 10:38 am

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  • Reply Elizabeth May 7, 2012 at 11:51 am

    I made this last night and it was delicious. When I reheated the rice I added a little cheese too – mmmmm! Thanks for the recipe.

    • Reply Adrianna May 7, 2012 at 11:52 am

      YES! I would’ve never thought to add cheese. Good idea.

  • Reply Alexis May 9, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    ugh – i feel the same way about giada and her high horse. the way she says “parmigiano reggiano” really gets me. unnaturally so. but i must say, i do the same with greek recipes!

    this arroz con pollo looks delicious!

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  • Reply Olivia September 29, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    I just stumbled across your blog today and spent a few solid hours reading all your posts while I was at “work”. You are hilarious, besides your pictures being beautiful and the fact that you use a lot of avocado which I can literally put on everything, I literally laugh out loud at your posts! especially this one because I’m from Chile, (i know, i know, theres an imagined fued between the two) but that rolling the r thing happens to me ALLL the time (it was especially tough in high school during spanish class, awkward). dying. but your adorable and i love your blog!

    • Reply Adrianna September 29, 2012 at 11:55 pm

      Haha! Awesome. I’m pretty americanized so those “feuds” are foreign to me (no pun intended!). Thanks for being here! YAY!

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  • Reply abby August 15, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    I tried your recipe and i was disappointed with chicken. I follow it to the “T” and the chicken was left flavorless…

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