Arroz con Pollo: Chicken & Rice Recipe
Arroz con Pollo: Chicken & Rice
Flavors of Puerto Rico
Total time: 30 to 60 minutes

Prep. time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes

Difficulty: Easy
Chef's Note

Arroz con Pollo is a traditional dish of Latin American cuisine with some variations from country to country. In Puerto Rico, they make it by combining rice and chicken in a caldero (cast aluminum pot) and season it with their famous sofrito: a sautéed mixture of onions, green peppers and garlic sautéed in oil or lard and colored with achiote and other spices. This simple, but delicious, traditional dish is the favorite of most Boricuas and the most cooked in Puerto Rican households.

Culantro - Cilantro (similar in taste, only milder).
Annatto - saffron. You can also use turmeric to impart  the typical yellow color of Puerto Rican dishes.

For 6 servings

- 1,5 kg / 3 1/2 lbs chicken, cut into pieces
- 750 ml / 3 cups long grain rice
- 875 ml / 3 1/2 cups water
- 125 ml / 1/2 cup basic sofrito (1/4 onion, green pepper, chopped and 3 mashed garlic cloves)
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 Tbsp. alcaparrado (olives and capers)
- 1 tsp. culantro and annatto
- 60 ml / 2 oz tomato sauce
- 2 Tbsp. oil (to stir-fry the chicken)
- Salt and black pepper to taste


1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper; refrigerate until you are ready to cook.

2. Heat the oil in a caldero or Dutch oven to medium heat. Add the chicken pieces and brown on each side for approximately 5 minutes. Remove and set aside on a plate. Note: Do not drain on paper towels; the chicken should retain its fat so as not to dry out. 

Arroz con Pollo: Chicken & Rice 1

3. Stir in the sofrito, olives, capers, culantro, annatto, tomato sauce and cumin and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes over low heat.

Arroz con Pollo: Chicken & Rice 2

4. Stir in the rice. Return the chicken to the caldero. Mix well with the sofrito, add water - enough to cover the rice by about 1-inch - and bring to a boil. Cook over high heat until the level of liquid reaches the rice.

5, Stir gently and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and cook until the liquid is absorbed, the chicken is cooked through, and the rice is tender but firm, about 20 to 25 minutes.

6. Remove from the heat. Let rest for a few minutes before serving.

More recipe ideas

Photos: Courtesy of Pillsbury / Que Rica Vida:
Recipe adapted from the original recipe published on Que Rica Vida with their kind authorization.

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