Arroz Con Pollo is Spain's beloved chicken and rice casserole: tender chicken, vegetables and rice baked in delicious tomato-saffron sauce.
I adore this dish. It's colorful, comforting, and addictively delicious. It's one of those dishes that makes it hard to resist overeating. If you're like me, you'll stuff yourself at dinner and still be stealing spoonfuls of rice from the pot as you clean up the kitchen.
I've been serving up arroz con pollo since the early years of my marriage but I actually stopped making it for a long time because my youngest son doesn't like chicken on the bone. He went off to college in September, and I miss him terribly, but I'm glad to have arroz con pollo back on our dinner table.
Arroz con pollo gets its great flavor from the sofrito, a thick sauce of sautéed aromatic vegetables. In Spain, and in Caribbean and Latin America countries a sofrito base is an important element of many dishes.
The components of sofrito vary from country to country and from dish to dish. For example, the sofrito for Cuban arroz con pollo sometimes calls for meats like ham or chorizo. For authentic Puerto Rican sofrito you must include aji dolce peppers and cilantro. The sofrito for this Spanish style arroz con pollo has onions, garlic, red bell peppers, canned tomatoes, white wine and spices.
How To Make Arroz Con Pollo:
Start with 4 pounds of chicken parts. I like to use 2 pounds of thighs and 2 pounds of breasts. I usually ask the butcher to cut the breasts into three pieces because with smaller pieces, I get to have a taste of both thigh and breast on my plate. Sometimes I'll get the thighs cut in half, if they're large. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and paprika and brown it in olive oil for a few minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pot and add the vegetables for the sofrito.
When the vegetables are tender, add wine, tomatoes, spices and rice. Let the rice simmer in the sauce for a few minutes and then return the chicken pieces to the pot and tuck them down into the rice and sauce. Cover the pot and put it in the oven for 25 minutes. Add the peas, arrange pimientos on top, and cook for 10 minutes longer.
Voila! The pimientos add a lot of pizzazz, and great flavor too. Serve arroz con pollo hot. And if you like cilantro, I highly recommend sprinkling a generous amount on top as a garnish.
This recipe comes from one of my favorite old cookbooks, Craig Claiborne's The New York Time's Cook Book. I've been making small tweaks to the recipe over time - just personal preferences. The most significant changes I made are: I quintuple the amount of garlic; add red bell pepper, add white wine, increase the amount of broth by a cup; increase the amount of saffron by ¼ teaspoon, and I precook the rice before adding the chicken, to ensure that the rice is tender and fully cooked without the chicken being overcooked.
Don't worry if you can't finish the whole pot in one sitting. Arroz con pollo reheats really well and, if you're like me, you'll be happy to have it again the next day.
Other delicious One-Pot Chicken Dishes
- CHICKEN CACCIATORE WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES AND POTATOES
- NORTH AFRICAN CHICKEN STEW WITH SWEET POTATOES, APRICOTS AND KALE
- SLOW COOKER CHICKEN TAGINE WITH APRICOTS AND CHICKPEAS
- SMOTHERED CHICKEN WITH VINEGAR
Here's the Arroz Con Pollo Recipe. I love to hear from you. If you try this recipe I hope you'll come back to leave a star rating and a comment and let me know how it turned out.Print