Arroz con Pollo


Arroz con Pollo

Arroz con Pollo! My absolute favorite.

Yesterday I tore open a pile of perfectly wrapped gifts and was greeted with: one cute/ugly sweater, two romance novels (alright?), one dvd of Sleepless In Seattle (a classic!), a super fancy wallet, various kitchen tools and a knife sharpening stone (thanks papa!).

I’ve wanted this particular sharpening stone for exactly two years. I’ve probably looked at it a dozen times online; lamented about buying it for forever (it’s a tad expensive).

For some reason I can justify dropping dollar$$ on shoes, but have issues with doing so on useful things. I’m a complicated human.

Arroz con Pollo

I was also gifted uninterrupted, guiltless free time.

Usually when I have a few hours to spare, I feel guilty about work or chores that I should be doing, so instead of chillaxing, it turns into me staring at the wall all stressed out.

But not yesterday!

This arroz con pollo is what I dream of on the plane ride over from LA.

It comes from my dad, who was in turn taught this dish by my grandfather (my mom’s father).

There’s nothing complicated about it. Just rice and chicken.

Latin comfort food, basically.

It tastes like home.

Fun fact: The way my grandfather and father make it is actually more of a cross between a paella and an arroz con pollo.

They use valencia (short-grain) rice, throw in saffron and use a ton of spices.

These tweaks make it slightly different than your traditional arroz con pollo, but in my opinion, these changes make it over the top amazing.

Arroz con Pollo

Abuelito's Arroz con Pollo

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Serving Size: 4 people


  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs, skin on
  • 2 bone-in drumsticks, skin on
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Roma Tomatoes, *peeled and minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 3/4 cup 14 ounce bag of Valencia rice or other rice (see note below)
  • 4 cups chicken stock


  • Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.
  • In a dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add chicken, skin side down, until browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Flip the chicken, using tongs, and cook on opposite side until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to plate and set aside.
  • Reduce heat to medium, add onion and red bell pepper, 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, paprika, turmeric, saffron, crushed red pepper and a teaspoon of salt and then mix.
  • Pour in rice and give it a good mix, coating it with the tomato mixture. Cook for about a minute or so. 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 1/2 teaspoon more of salt.
  • Serve immediately. This stays good in the fridge for up to 3 days. It's great reheated in the microwave. You may need to add a splash of water to it to loosen it up right before the microwave!


To Peel Tomatoes:
I put an X with a knife at the bottom of each tomato and then drop them in boiling water for about 1 minutes. I peel the tomatoes with a pair of tongs (it's super easy after they've been boiled for a bit) and then chop them up, discarding the stems.
Other rice options instead of Valencia:
Did you make this recipe?Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen

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Leave a Reply

  • Reply Sue/the view from great island December 26, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    What a warm and delicious color and taste palate this dish has. There is a dusting of snow out our windows this morning, so the sunny yellows and reds of this arroz con pollo look soooo appealing.

  • Reply Heather (Heather's Dish) December 26, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    this sounds so delicious – arroz con pollo used to be a staple in our Friday spanish classes and i looked forward to it every week!

  • Reply Melissa // thefauxmartha December 26, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Oh my word! This looks so yum. And it’s a one pot meal. Holla!

  • Reply yummy supper December 26, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Adrianna, I hope you had a great Christmas! Your dad’s Arroz con Pollo looks like such comfort food – yum!
    Wishing you all the best for 2012!

  • Reply Kate Mai December 26, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Yum- this looks delicious. And best of all, I can get all the ingredients in Paris, except perhaps the special rice. Merci!

    • Reply Adrianna December 26, 2011 at 6:11 pm

      Oh you should be able to find the Spanish Valencia rice! xo

  • Reply kyleen December 26, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Gorgeous photos! I totally understand what you mean when you say that you can buy expensive shoes but not something more useful. Happy holidays!

  • Reply Christense December 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Ooh, this looks good, and it’s something I can make out of ingredients I can find here in China. The tumeric may be a bit tough to find, but I bet it’s out there somewhere!

  • Reply Chris @ TheKeenanCookbook December 27, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Thanks for sharing your Dad’s (and Grandfather’s) recipe. I always love when a food blogger shares a family recipe, just something very special about that (like my great grandmothers cheese pie, 90 year old recipe, wowzers).
    I’ve never made arroz con pollo but the times I’ve had it I’ve loved it. I’m staring this in my reader for future cooking. It looks delicious!

    • Reply Adrianna December 29, 2011 at 6:31 pm

      I actually love when bloggers share family recipes too!

  • Reply Kitty December 27, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Oh Que Rico! “Arroz con Pollo” one of my favorites! The pix r beautiful!

  • Reply Whitney December 27, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Wow!! Looks delish and so easy!

  • Reply Steph December 27, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    This looks amazing! I’m definitely going to be making it soon.

    What sharpening stone did you get? I am in the market for a new knife-sharpening device and would love to know what you think!

  • Reply Nadette@Eat, Read, Rant! December 28, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    I definitely want some of this right now. #starving

  • Reply Kelly@frugalfoodiefamily December 28, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! And don’t you just love those le creuset pots?!!

  • Reply Courtney December 29, 2011 at 1:07 am

    I am a big fan of your blog and I just wanted to compliment you on your wonderful food photography, not only for this post but for all of them. They look so professional and make my tummy grumble evey time I visit.

    Keep up the great work and happy cooking!

    • Reply Adrianna December 29, 2011 at 6:35 pm

      You’re so very awesome/sweet/wonderful. THANK YOU!

  • Reply Deborah December 29, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Hi Adrianna! Where is your father from?
    Do you know exactly from which doues this recipe comes from?

    Cheers! and thanks for sharing

    • Reply Adrianna December 29, 2011 at 6:36 pm

      My dad was born in Colombia, but my grandfather (my mom’s father) was from Peru, so it definitely doesn’t have a concrete place of origin. 🙂

      • Reply Deborah December 29, 2011 at 11:33 pm

        definitley not, I’m form Venezuela and we loveee to eat Arroz con Pollo every week hehe 😉

        • Reply lourdes canela February 17, 2013 at 8:44 am

          Adriana I love your blog I am Peruvian my dad is Colombian and my mom is Perubian

          • lourdes canela February 17, 2013 at 8:46 am

            I forgot to put that I love the Colombian arroz con pollo which is made of yellow rice and the Peruvian arroz con pollo which is green rice because of the cilantro, I love them both of course I eat my Peruvian with papa a la huancaina

  • Reply Jillian@TheHumbleGourmet December 29, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    I, also, am hoping to become besties with Mindy Kaling. She is so adorable!
    This dish looks absolutely delicious and so fitting for the cold, winter months. Yum!

  • Reply Rachel December 29, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Can you use chicken breast instead?

    • Reply Adrianna December 29, 2011 at 6:37 pm

      Yes, for sure!

      • Reply Rachel December 29, 2011 at 7:15 pm

        Would you use chicken breast with the bone in or boneless?

        • Reply Adrianna December 29, 2011 at 7:28 pm

          I would use bone-in. It generally has more flavor.

  • Reply Alison December 29, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Yum! I could go for that right now. There’s something so magical about simple and heart-warming dishes like this one!

  • Reply Lori @ RecipeGirl December 29, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    I want this because it’s beautiful and rustic!

  • Reply Lindsay December 30, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    Hi- Do you think a regular large pot with a lid would do the trick instead of a dutch oven? It is not an iron pot.

    • Reply Adrianna December 30, 2011 at 11:53 pm

      For sure! I’ve made it in a regular pot before and it sticks a bit more on the bottom but it works.

  • Reply Rachel January 2, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    I made this the other day and my husband and I loved it! However, I could not find valencia rice at any of the stores near by. I didn’t want to drive further so I settled on using arborio rice. Do you have any other suggestions for a substitute?

    And holy cow saffron is expensive! I knew it was, but have never purchased any. I felt like a drug dealer pulling out the little bag of saffron.

    • Reply Adrianna January 2, 2012 at 6:14 pm

      YAY! I’m glad it worked out despite the $$ dropped on saffron. It is expensive, but the Barilla brand is pretty inexpensive (like $6). I think the arborio rice is the best substitute, as is pearl rice. 🙂

  • Reply Stacy t January 3, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Making this Friday night for my boyfriend’s birthday! Awesome! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Adrianna January 3, 2012 at 10:48 pm

      Rad! I hope he likes it. Happy Birthday, Stacey T’s boyfriend!

  • Reply Tara January 4, 2012 at 4:18 am

    I made this the other night and it was delicious. The only problem was I couldn’t find that rice and I was worried about cooking any long grain rice for that amount of time. I went with brown rice and unfortunately, it didn’t cook all the way. I read through the comments and saw that for next time I can try to use arborio rice. Anyway, I definitely want to try making it again. Thanks for the great recipes!

  • Reply Dana B @ thebakingbooth January 4, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    This looks excellent. I love cumin and love the excuse to buy saffron 🙂 Hope you had a great Christmas!!

  • Reply Aly ~ Cooking In Stilettos January 5, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    When I saw you had Arroz Con Pollo – I just had to look and, right now, I’m shelving any and all menu planning that was simmering in my mind all day to make this. Arroz Con Pollo is my go-to must have comfort food and this just would make a day so much better! BTW – found you via Saveur and I’m officially obsessed with A Cozy Kitchen. I’m adding it to my “Daily Must Reads”.

  • Reply Adrianna January 6, 2012 at 1:21 am

    Love it!!!! So glad you’re here.

  • Reply Noelle (@singerinkitchen) January 11, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    I made a meal like this 2 nights ago! Yours looks and sounds fab!

  • Reply Nealey @ Dixie Caviar January 16, 2012 at 6:10 am

    This looks so good! I’ve never had arroz con pollo before, but I have a feeling it’s a pretty perfect meal. Yum..

  • Reply Ovens that are Dutch. « January 23, 2012 at 5:18 pm

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  • Reply Sandra January 24, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    I made this tonight for the BF and I & it was AMAZING. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe 🙂 We were totally

  • Reply Sandra January 24, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    taken aback by the price of the saffron, but it was SO WORTH IT, and made the dish totally amazing!! SO SO SO GOOD! Thanks so much!

  • Reply Arroz con Pollo | honeybutterbakes February 1, 2012 at 1:47 pm

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  • Reply Megs @ Little Stirrings February 2, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Definitely made this within a week of reading the post. And I’m officially obsessed. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!

    (Also – for Saffron buyers. I’ve found the cheapest way to buy it is in the little country markets in PA Dutch Country or in a Natural Foods Co-Op where they sell spices in bulk. Still a little painful, but SO worth it for the price!

    • Reply Adrianna February 2, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      YAY! This is such a good tip. Thank you!

  • Reply Den February 8, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Ana, yo tengo a unos cuoatns episodios (en inglés), quieres que te los lleve cuando vaya a Valencia?

  • Reply Nina February 12, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Psst… it’s “turmeric” and should be available in any grocery spice aisle. It is touted for its anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Reply rebecca February 12, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    made your beautiful recipe tonight and it was just delicious. i was delighted at how quickly the recipe came together, and blown away by the lovely color and flavor the saffron added to the rice. thank you for sharing a family favorite!

    • Reply Adrianna February 12, 2012 at 10:10 pm

      This makes me so happy.

  • Reply Truly Smitten March 19, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    My mouth is seriously watering at these photos….

  • Reply Pooja March 20, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    I know what you mean! And the way she says mozzzzarrrrellla! Anyway, you are definitely not annoying!

  • Reply Clau May 31, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    It looks delicious but where I live it is not easy to get Paprika, can I use smoked Paprika instead?

    • Reply Adrianna June 1, 2012 at 12:05 am

      Sure. If you’re a fan of the flavor of smoked paprika, add it. I personally don’t want a smokey flavor with arroz con pollo. If you’re not a fan, then I’d recommend leaving it out all together. 🙂

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  • Reply Alyssa July 31, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Will plain white rice or jasmine rice work in this dish?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme July 31, 2013 at 8:10 pm

      It should. I’d just keep an eye on it since it cooks faster than Valencia rice.

  • Reply Chelsey August 19, 2013 at 6:17 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this family recipe. I made it for my Spanish boyfriend last week and it got a huge seal of approval! His Mom also apparently makes Arroz con Pollo exactly like this, so it will be a regular from now on. 😉 Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Destiny July 30, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    I’m going to try this tonight. Just curious, where in LA did you find Valencia rice?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme July 30, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      Hmm…I actually made this recipe for the blog at my parent’s house in Florida. I bet Whole Foods would have it. Or any Latin market. What part of town are you in?

  • Reply Destiny July 30, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    I live in Long Beach, work in Glassell Park near Silver Lake/Atwater Village. I found a Spanish market in Glendale that had the most options. I picked up GOYA brand “California Pearl Rice/ Arroz Tipo Valenciano.” The perfectionist in me still wants a bag or box that says “Valencia Rice” on it.

  • Reply Destiny July 30, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    And just to clarify, I understand that I bought “Valencia style rice” but GOYA also has a box of “Valencia Rice” on their website which is what confuses me.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme July 30, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      Right, it basically is valencia rice. I say go with that. It is confusing, but you should be good to go!

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