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Posted by on Sep 5, 2012 in Grains | 0 comments

Arroz Con Pollo

Arroz Con Pollo

After living in US,i have come to know that many  country have their version of favorite chicken and rice dish,sharing quite a bit of similarity ,each using unique blend of spices local to the region,cooked in rich broth.So to name a few

  • Biriyani from India
  • Paella from Spain
  • ‘Arroz Con Pollo’ from Latin American countries.Also add Puerto Rico,Cuba to it.
  • Jambalaya from USA-Louisiana
Arroz Con Pollo Spices by handfulofjoy

Spices(Cumin,Turmeric,Paprika in spoon,saffron)

All these rice dishes shares some similarity at the same time each one of it have the individuality of it own.So for example

  • Biriyani is cooked with essential indian ingredients such as ‘garam masala’,garnished with cilantro and mint.
  • ‘Arroz Con Pollo’ may have ‘Achiote’ instead of Turmeric powder whereas Spanish ‘Paella’ will have saffron.Puerto Rican base this dish on ‘Sofrito’.
  • Choice of meat varies,besides chicken it may have sausage like in cajun Jambalaya or shrimp or mussels in Paella.
  • ‘Arroz Con Pollo’ and ‘Paella’ have olives whereas  Indian  Biriyani have nuts like cashews and pistachios.
  • Spanish Paella is known for being cooked in big round,very flat pan,called ‘Paella pan’,whereas traditional biriyani is cooked in sealed dutch oven.
Arroz Con Pollo handfulofjoy

Arroz Con Pollo handfulofjoy

So now that you know some of the subtle differences,here is my version of ‘Arroz Con Pollo’,which simply means Rice (Arroz) with Chicken(Pollo).I cooked it in fairly big pan.I doubled,more then doubled the recipe since i wanted it for the next meal.Everyone in our family loves it and it is absolute comfort food for me.Easy,one pot and very customizable.I tweak the ingredients to match the taste and ethnicity i am looking for.I know it lacks ‘Achiote’ but i will stick with the name still 🙂

  • Though olives are essential in this dish,no one other then me likes it in our home.So i add olives in the last minute to my plate only.I like the salty,slightly bitter taste of olive with rice.
  • Rice takes 17-20 mins to cook.So depending on how big or small your chicken pieces are,you will have to know when to add the rice.If you think it is small enough to be cooked in 20 mins with rice,then add the rice at the same time,you are putting the chicken back.If pieces are big,then cook the chicken little bit before you add rice.
  • Since tomato is added to  dish,it has liquid,so you can not double the amount of water.Judge it by this guideline.
Arroz Con Pollo by handfulofjoy

Arroz Con Pollo by handfulofjoy

Arroz Con Pollo


  1. 3 cups long grain Basmati Rice
  2. Water
  3. 1 can tomatos
  4. oil
  5. salt
  6. Marinade
  7. 3 Lb Chicken(drumsticks and leg quarters)
  8. 3 Tablespoon Vinegar
  9. 2 Tablespoon Salt
  10. Saute
  11. 2 medium onion chopped
  12. 1 Hatch Chili pepper
  13. 1/2 Red bell pepper
  14. Spices
  15. 1 Bay leaf
  16. 1 Tablespoon Cumin seeds ground
  17. 1-1/2 Teaspoons dry Thyme leaves
  18. 1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  19. 1/2 Teaspoon Saffron(optional)
  20. 1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
  21. Garnish
  22. Chopped olives and Cilantro


  1. Marinade the chicken for at least an hour.
  2. In a pan,brown the chicken with little oil.
  3. Once chicken is browned,take it out.
  4. Add the all chopped saute ingredients until it is translucent.
  5. Add all the spices.Stir it for 1-2 mins.
  6. Add Tomato.
  7. Add browned chicken back to it.Submerge it with water.Cook it until chicken is half done.
  8. Add rice and water.
  9. Let it come to boil and simmer until rice is done.
  10. Garnish with chopped oilves and cilantro.
  11. Enjoy

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