Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Arroz Con Pollo

Arroz con pollo is a dish served during special occasions in Cuba. The flavors of the chicken, rice, spices and vegetables all meld together and create a comfort dish that feeds a lot of mouths without costing a lot of money. While I use a whole chicken for this recipe, feel free to use chicken thighs or whatever chicken meat you have on hand.


1 whole chicken (4 lbs), washed, dried and chopped into 8 pieces
1 sour orange, juiced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, diced
8 cloves garlic, diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 tsp annatto seeds, or 1/4 tsp saffron threads
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups medium or long-grain white rice
2 1/2 to 3 cups chicken stock
1 cup frozen peas (petit pois)-about 5 oz
1/3 cup chopped green olives with pimento

Mix the oregano, cumin, white pepper, paprika and sour orange juice in a large glass bowl. Add chicken pieces and turn so that marinade covers all parts of chicken. Let marinate at least 15 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large sauce pot over medium high heat. Brown the chicken pieces all over, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and pour out all but 2 tablespoons fat from sauce pot.

Saute onion, bell pepper, and garlic in fat in pot over medium high heat, stirring occasionally and scraping up brown chicken bits that have stuck to the pan's bottom, until sofrito has softened, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add tomato paste and chicken to pot, cook 1 minute.

Add chicken stock, wine and saffron (if you use it instead of annatto oil) and bring to boil. Simmer 30 minutes.

Rinse rice with water thoroughly.

Bring chicken mixture to a boil, stir in rice, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the rice is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. If it dries out before rice is done, add water as needed. If rice is almost done after 15 minutes, uncover during last 10 or 15 minutes of cooking.

Stir in chopped olives
and peas a few minutes before rice is done cooking.


  1. I feel compelled to say 'nice legs', but I do so love this dish too!


Tried my recipe? Please let me know how it turned out for you! Be honest (and kind!)