Arroz Con Pollo Recipe

Chicken and rice is a staple dish in many cultures. In Puerto Rico and parts of Spain, it's known as arroz con pollo. It's a simple, though very hearty and filling, meal, and you only need one taste to know why it's so popular.

This arroz con pollo recipe from Maren Epstein, the certified holistic health chef behind Eating Works, is one that you'll return to time and time again. It's made using a simple set of ingredients. It's also a recipe that you can go from start to finish in under an hour. And best of all? This arroz con pollo recipe only needs one pot to make, so you won't be stuck with a sink full of dishes when you're done cooking.

The next time you're cooking for your family or a gathering of people (or you're short on time but don't want to skimp on flavor), simply pull out this recipe for a meal that's an instant crowd pleaser.

Gather your arroz con pollo ingredients

You can break down the steps to this recipe into two different sections: the meat and veggies section, and then the rice and broth section. The same can be said for the ingredients you'll need. For the first part, you'll need olive oil to coat the pot, bone-in (and skin on) chicken, onion, crushed tomatoes, and Goya Sazon. For the second part, you'll need chicken stock, white wine, chili pepper flakes, short grain white rice, and frozen peas.

The seasoning is a large part of this recipe. Goya Sazon is a pre-mixed spice blend featuring herbs and spices like coriander, garlic, and cumin. It's the preferred spice mix for this recipe (among many others) and can be a time saver if you don't already have a large spice collection in your kitchen. If you can't find Goya Sazon at the store, however, you can fashion your own blend of spices using oregano, garlic powder, and cumin.

Brown the chicken

The first bit of cooking you need to do for this recipe is brown the chicken. First, heat some oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. If you don't have an enameled Dutch oven like Le Creuset or Staub, other enamel cookware or skillets with a lid work as well, Epstein says. Add the chicken to the pan and cook it for five minutes. Flip your chicken at the five minute mark and brown the other side as well. Then, remove it from the pan and set it aside for later.

When you're browning the chicken, make sure you leave enough space between each piece of meat. Overcrowding is one of the most common mistakes when cooking chicken. When the pieces of meat are too close together, you can end up steaming the chicken rather giving it a more crisp outside because there's not enough room for the steam to escape.

Cook the onions and rice

With both sides of the chicken browned, it's time to move on to the onions and rice. First, dice the whole onion. Pro tip: The best way to dice an onion so you get the perfect sized pieces is to leave the root on while you're dicing. Then, add the onion along with salt, red pepper chili flakes, and Goya Sezon (or your own blend of oregano, cumin, and garlic powder) to the pot. As it cooks, scrape up any bits of chicken that stuck to the bottom of the pot and stir them in. You'll need to cook the onions until they're tender and translucent, which should take about seven minutes.

Add the cup and a half of short grain white rice into the pot along with the onions as soon as the onions are translucent. Short grain white rice is the traditional option, though Epstein says basmati or jasmine would work for this recipe as well. Toast the rice for five minutes, and stir while scraping the bottom to keep the rice from sticking.

Deglaze and then fill the arroz con pollo pot

Next you'll need to deglaze the pot to make sure you get all of the cooked bits off of the bottom of the pan. Deglazing simply means to add a liquid to a hot pot or pan and letting it simmer. Doing so lets you utilize all of the good stuff rather than letting it burn onto the bottom or be tossed out when you've finished cooking. The resulting liquid is full of flavor and makes the dish that much better.

For this arroz con pollo recipe, you'll want to deglaze the pot with a cup of white wine. Don't worry about the alcohol — that part cooks off while still imparting the flavor. Add the two cups of chicken stock into the pot as well. Once your pot or pan is deglazed, pour in the cup of crushed tomatoes and then add the chicken back in. Just like before when browning the chicken, make sure you don't crowd the pot and give each piece of meat some space between each other.

Simmer the arroz con pollo

Let the pot simmer without the lid on for about 15 minutes once everything is inside the pot. Be sure to stir it occasionally to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom. The chicken and the rice for this recipe should be done at the same time, but you can always double check the chicken by cutting into it to make sure the center isn't pink or by checking that the temperature is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit with a meat thermometer.

You can tell when the rice is finished because it will have absorbed all of the liquid in the pot and it'll be soft. "If the rice absorbed all of the cooking liquid and still isn't done you can add another cup of liquid and keep cooking it," Epstein says. "Al dente is fine though because the rice will continue to soften and absorb liquid after it finishes cooking."

Add the finishing touch on arroz con pollo and prepare for leftovers

Once everything is finished cooking, turn off the stove and move the pot off of the heating surface. Then, add in the two cups of frozen peas and mix them into the dish. You'll want to stir in the peas until they're completely thawed.

From here, all that's left to do is enjoy. This is a hearty dish, however, and if you're cooking for just a few people or a small group then there's a good chance you're going to have some leftovers. Thankfully it's easy enough to store and reheat this arroz con pollo. Pack the leftovers into an airtight container. The chicken will stay good in the fridge for four days, or you can put the airtight container in the freezer, where it'll stay good for up to six months.

When it's time to bring the dish out for round two, reheating couldn't be more simple.

"I prefer to heat these leftovers in the microwave on a serving platter," Epstein says. "This is the fastest way to heat it up. You can also reheat it in the oven at 200 degrees but this could take up to an hour."

Arroz Con Pollo Recipe
4.9 from 23 ratings
Arroz con pollo is a simple dish of chicken and rice that delivers big flavor and a hearty meal. Prefect for a family gathering, it's a surefire crowd-pleaser.
Prep Time
Cook Time
arroz con pollo on plate
Total time: 55 minutes
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound whole chicken bone in and skin on
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Goya Sezon (or 1 tablespoon oregano, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon cumin)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 pinch chili pepper flakes
  • 1 ½ cups short grain white rice
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Next, brown the chicken by adding the chicken to the pan and cook for 5 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add one onion to the pan and add salt, garlic powder, red pepper chili flakes, and cumin. Scrape up the chicken bits from the bottom of the pot and cook until tender and translucent, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add the rice and toast for 5 minutes, scrapping the bottom of the pot to prevent the rice from sticking.
  4. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and chicken stock. Add the tomatoes and chicken.
  5. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 15 minute stirring occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Once finished cooking turn off the flame and add the peas. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peas until they thaw. Serve.
Calories per Serving 218
Total Fat 11.7 g
Saturated Fat 2.9 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 19.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 12.1 g
Dietary Fiber 2.5 g
Total Sugars 4.9 g
Sodium 263.9 mg
Protein 10.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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