Arroz con Pollo

Dinner

Arroz con Pollo is a comforting, one-pot meal from Latin America. This version comes straight from my Abuelito’s repertoire. Chicken is seared and then cooked with rice, spices, chicken broth, olives, until it’s fragrant and delicious. This arroz con pollo recipe is perfect for leftovers!

Arroz con Pollo

I guess you could say that this recipe was one of the first recipes I ever learned how to make. My dad taught me this dish. And my mom’s father taught it to him. There’s nothing complicated about it: just rice and chicken. Nearly every culture has a rendition of this dish. It’s because it’s so comforting and easy to throw together.

This is Latin comfort food, you know. It tastes like home.

What is Arroz con Pollo

Let’s start with the basics! Arroz con Pollo is a one-pot dish from Spain and Latin America. It’s made all across South American and the Caribbean. Puerto Ricans have their own way to make arroz con pollo, as does Dominican Republic and Cuba.

This recipe is not really a Arroz con Pollo Peruano per se, even though, I got this recipe from my Peruvian grandfather. It was just his way of making it, which makes a lot of sense given his culinary tastes. It’s a cross between paella and arroz con pollo. It’s a bit more wet then other arroz con pollos. And it’s the way I prefer it, too.

Ingredients for Arroz con Pollo

  • Chicken. I like to use bone-in and skin-on chicken pieces. Thighs and drumsticks are preferred because they can handle braising. I also like bone-in because that’s where a lot of flavor lives.
  • Sofrito combination: yellow onion, red bell pepper and garlic. This equals GOOD flavor.
  • Spices. This recipe uses ground cumin, salt, turmeric, crushed red pepper and saffron.
  • Medium-grain rice. Such as calrose. I love it for this recipe. You can use other types of rice, too. See below for my substitutions section.
  • Chicken stock.
  • Pitted green olives. This is optional and the dish tastes amazing without it.
  • Frozen peas. I like to add them at the very, very end so they don’t overcook.

Arroz con Pollo

How to Make Arroz Con Pollo / Como Hacer Arroz Con Pollo

  1. Prep your chicken. I like to salt both sides generously with kosher salt.
  2. Cook the chicken. Cook the chicken skin-side down for about 5 to 7 minutes. You want the skin crispy and rendered. Flip it and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the chicken and set it aside.
  4. Next up! Add the diced onion, red bell pepper. This is our sofrito (along with the garlic that’s added in a second). The base of flavor building.
  5. And then add the minced garlic and tomato. You also want to scrape up any bits in the pan–that’s where the flavor is!
  6. Mix in the spices. There’s ground cumin, paprika, turmeric, crushed red pepper and saffron. If you don’t have saffron–skip it!
  7. And then, add the rice; give everything a thorough mix.
  8. Nestle the chicken back atop the rice. And then add the green olives all around.
  9. Add 3 1/2 cups of chicken stock.
  10. Bring to a simmer and then cover the lid. The lid is important because we want to make sure the right amount of liquid evaporates while the rice cooks evenly.
  11. Add more broth as needed. I added about 1/2 cup extra. Salt it halfway through. Try the rice and add a teeny bit extra if needed.
  12. When it’s done, turn off the heat. Add the peas and cover the lid once more.

Arroz con Pollo

Substitutions

  • This recipe is quite flexible. You can use different types of rice: long-grain rice, medium-grain rice (my personal favorite) and short-grain rice like Arborio or Valencia. You may need to add more or less broth/liquid depending on the type.
  • Chicken cuts. You can use all bone-in chicken thighs or all bone-in drumsticks. I find they’re the best when braised/cooked for a longer period of time, hence why I recommend them.
  • If you don’t have saffron, you can of course, skip it. It adds a bit of extra but it’s not totally necessary.
  • In case you don’t have access to roma tomatoes, you can use 1 whole canned tomato (no sauce is necessary).

Arroz con Pollo

Arroz con Pollo Recipe

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5 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Serving Size: 6
Calories: 256kcal
Arroz con Pollo is a comforting, one-pot meal from Latin America. This version is a family favorite and is a cross between paella and arroz con pollo.

Ingredients

  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs, (skin on)
  • 2 bone-in drumsticks, (skin on)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil , (I like to use avocado oil)
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, peeled and minced
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 3 roma tomatoes, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground smoked paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups medium grain rice , (see below for more options)
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup pitted green olives
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas

Directions

  • Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt
  • 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 5 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. Add the tomato and 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 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 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 disperse the olives all around atop the rice.
  • Pour just enough chicken stock to cover the rice, about 3 1/2 cups. Bring the pot to a simmer and then reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, for about 30 to 34 minutes, and until rice is tender.
  • Note: Throughout the cooking process, I checked on it every 15 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 1/4 teaspoon more salt.
  • When it's ready, turn the heat off. Sprinkle the peas on top and cover with a lid for 2 minutes. Just until the peas are thawed and bright green. Serve immediately.
  • Leftovers: 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!

Notes

Let's Talk About Other Rice Options: 
Long-grain: you can absolutely use long-grain rice for this recipe. You may need to add more water so I would just watch it throughout the process. 
Arborio: believe it or not, rice for risotto works for this dish--it's delicious. So if you have it, no biggie, use it! 
Equipment:
Le Creuset Braiser | Le Creuset Dutch Oven | Oxo Tongs | Chef's Knife | OXO Measuring Cups | OXO Measuring Spoons | Cutting Boards |
CourseDinner
CuisineAmerican, Latin America, Peruvian
Keywordarroz con pollo peruano, arroz con pollo receta, como hacer arroz con pollo, easy arroz con pollo
Nutrition Facts
Arroz con Pollo Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 256 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat -7g-44%
Cholesterol 21mg7%
Sodium 56mg2%
Potassium 34mg1%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 56IU1%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 3mg0%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen

Arroz con Pollo

If you make this recipe, let me know on Instagram!

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76 Comments

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!
    xo
    E

  • 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 [email protected], Read, Rant! December 28, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    I definitely want some of this right now. #starving

  • Reply [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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

    […] And my second recipe, which I found on one of my new favorite blogs – A Cozy Kitchen, was a tweaked version of  traditional Spanish Arroz Con Pollo. […]

  • 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

    […] But this Arroz con Pollo was such a hit, and soo simple that I thought I’d toss it up. The original recipe is from ACozyKitchen. […]

  • 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. 🙂

  • Reply Arroz con Pollo (kinda) | Blonde Ambition June 7, 2012 at 3:07 pm

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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!

  • Reply Go to Dinner Recipes | Plastic Bows April 24, 2015 at 11:11 am

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  • Reply George Taruc March 25, 2020 at 3:10 am

    5 stars
    I have made similar recipe but without cumin and paprika. Next I’ll add them. In the nutritional info the serving quantity is not stated.

  • Reply George Taruc March 25, 2020 at 3:19 am

    5 stars
    There are many variations to this recipe. With regards to rice you can use almost any rice. I see others mention Valencia rice. I believe Valencia rice has a sticky consistency. For me, Japanese rice like Calrose or Kukuho is similar and more readily available. Look up Arroz Valenciana recipe. It’s very popular in the Philippines.

  • Reply Jennyquack March 25, 2020 at 6:49 am

    5 stars
    So good and SO easy! Who doesn’t love a one pot meal? I didn’t have any bell peppers but a used a spice blend from Penzey’s that had bell pepper in it. Also, no saffron. I can’t wait to make this again!

  • Reply Mrs. Molehill April 6, 2020 at 12:14 pm

    5 stars
    Made this while self-isolating. The layers of flavor are out-of-this-world! Husband and I ate the whole pot in one night. Comfort food at its brightest and best. Will definitely throw this in the rotation. YUM!!