Arroz Con Pollo

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Today’s guest post comes from Joelen at What’s Cookin’ Chicago?  I can tell you first hand that her Arroz Con Pollo is AMAZING!  I made it last week for my husband and it was a big hit! I love that this flavorful dish feeds a lot of people.  Give this a try!  You won’t be disappointed!

Note: If you don’t have an oven-proof Dutch Oven for this recipe, just transfer the rice and chicken to a large casserole dish (covered with foil) and heat in the oven as directed. That’s what I did and it came out great. :)

Oh. Em. Gee. I’ve made my share of recipes and most turn out pretty darn good with my adaptations. However, very rarely do I make something and have an immediate urge to make it again… as in, within 24 hours. Perhaps this dish hit me to the core because it’s like my ultimate comfort food, chicken and rice. Whatever the reason, this Arroz con Pollo is giving me a reason to go to the store later today to pick up more ingredients so I can make it again asap…

In Filipino cuisine, my favorite comfort dish is Chicken Adobo with rice. Any flavorful, marinated chicken paired with rice is going to appeal to me right off the bat. So it’s no wonder that I’d be a fan of Arroz con Pollo (Chicken with Rice.) There are so many variations of this dish and I’m sure everyone that makes it has their own special touches to make it theirs. I’ve made Arroz con Pollo before but it always fell short – too mushy, too bland, not a good ratio of chicken to rice, etc. But now I can rest easy because this recipe is perfect. Absolutely perfect.

Chicken thighs are the ideal cut of chicken to use because they’re a more flavorful cut (as opposed to chicken breast which tends to dry out.) To maximize the flavor of the chicken, it’s briefly marinated in a mixture of minced garlic, salt, vinegar and black pepper. While that marinates, a sofrito is made by sauteing onions and bell peppers. The sofrito is pushed to the side of the pot and the marinated chicken goes in to brown up. Once the chicken is browned, chicken broth, water and tomato sauce is added. I adapted the recipe by using ketchup instead because I wanted the touch of sweetness it would bring to the dish.

For added color and flavor, I also added a packet of Sazon – a ‘secret ingredient’ I like to add to all Latin inspired dishes. It’s a common ingredient used in Latin cuisine that provides flavor (such as garlic, cilantro, etc) and color (a rich orange hue from annato that’s included in the seasoning). You can find it in the Latin aisle of supermarkets. If you can’t find it, no worries… the recipe will be fine without it.

The chicken simmers a bit before adding the rice, salty capers and pimento stuffed green olives (another adaptation I made in place of olives and pimentos called for in the original recipe). Once the pot comes to a simmer, it’s baked in the oven for a bit, stirred and baked some more until the rice is fully cooked and has absorbed all the liquid. Back on the stovetop, the chicken is removed and deboned, then placed back into the pot. The chicken is folded into the flavorful rice and served. But hold on… the best is yet to come. If you don’t mind testing your patience, this dish really is best served the next day when all the flavors have melded together. Heaven. When I made this, I halved the recipe and now I can’t wait to go back to the store and make the full recipe…



Thanks for sharing your recipe with us, Joelen!

Visit Joelen at What’s Cookin’ Chicago and follow her on Facebook and Twitter!


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  1. 3

    Jenny H says

    I really wanted this to be great, but something went wrong. The only changes I made was eliminating the Sazon seasoning and the olives. I didn’t think that the full 3 cups of rice cooked would fit in my pot, so I also cut that back to 2.5 cups. However, there wasn’t nearly enough liquid for all that rice. There was only the 1 3/4 cups of broth and the 1/4 cup of water. I ended up needing to add over 3 cups of broth/water, and it needed about 30 min longer to cook in the oven. It wasn’t quite done at that point, but by then I needed to feed the hungry family, so we just went ahead and ate it. Did anyone else have this problem? Did I do something wrong?


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