arroz con pollo

I’ve already admitted that I’ve been a bit of a slack-ass with the whole cooking dinner on a weekday night, or pretty much any night, thing lately. Since I would hate to deprive you of all of the whiny reasons I’ve been inundating my husband with for not even making half an effort, I’ve decided to translate a few into bytes for you: I’m tiiiiired. I’ve been working soooooo much lately. Traaaaveling too! If I start now, we won’t eat until tomoooooorow. Also: I’m sooooo tiiiiiiired. Charming, right? Bet you wish you were here.

But I think that the one-pot meal could be the cure for all of your kitchen ailments. Don’t feel like cooking? But look–it’s dinner in one pot! Don’t feel like creating a pile of dishes? But it’s just one pot! (And a knife and a plate and a spoon, but shh, I don’t want to scare you off.) Have a lot of people coming over? One steamed vegetable and an easy soup and you’ve got a full-blown meal! Everyone arriving at different times? It’s okay, the one-pot meal is very forgiving of tardiness.

arroz con pollo

This past weekend, it even cured my whiny disinterest in cooking dinner. Friday night, I was in the mood for something hefty and simmery and not arriving by a delivery guy on a bike at all and Gourmet’s Arroz Con Pollo fit the bill. It was delicious. Warm, filling, easy to make, and equally delicious the next day, reheated.

Did you hear that? I ate leftovers. I hate leftovers. And yet, in both this dish and the fideos, I couldn’t wait to dig in. I had trouble waiting for it to finally heat. (In all honestly, we really didn’t.) And both were from the Latino America issue of Gourmet. If this is a sign, and I hope it is, I might cook just these Spanish-flavored dishes exclusively, because I’m starting to think that when I wasn’t in the mood to cook, I was just cooking the wrong, uninspiring things. Who knew?

arroz con pollo

What fun! I am loving all of the comments on the last entry–thank you! Of course, being reminded how awesome maple candy, nutella and chips and avocado/tomatillo salsa are just making me hungry, like all the time. But the peanut butter brownies are just a little bit safer, and so are my hips. Phew. Thank you!

One year ago: Roasted Acorn Squash with Chile Vinaigrette (Though I would never pick favorites, this is my favorite fall dish to date.)

Arroz Con Pollo (Cuban Chicken with Rice)
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine

The only think I’d change next time is to add much more kick to this recipe. I’d swap the regular paprika with the spicy stuff, and add quite a bit more. In addition, I might finely dice some green pepper on top, instead of the pimentos or red pepper strips. I think it might be a prettier, more texture-contrasted garnish. Oh, and I would skimp and only make a half-recipe, as I was actually sad when we ran out of this.

Serves 8

3 large garlic cloves
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
4 chicken breast halves with bone, halved crosswise
4 chicken drumsticks
4 chicken thighs

3 ounces Spanish chorizo (cured sausage), skin discarded and sausage cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika, preferably the hot stuff, plus more to taste
2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
1 lb. tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 12-ounce. bottle beer (not dark)
1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups long-grain white rice (14 ounces)
1/4 cup drained rinsed bottled pimiento or roasted red pepper strips

Marinate chicken: Mince and mash garlic to a paste with 2 teaspoons salt, then transfer to a large bowl. Stir in vinegar and oregano.

Remove skin and excess fat from chicken, then toss chicken with marinade until coated and marinate, covered and chilled, at least 1 hour.

Cook chicken and rice: – Cook chorizo in olive oil in a 6- to 7-quart heavy pot (12 inches wide) over medium-high heat, stirring, until some fat is rendered, 2 to 3 minutes. Add onions, bell pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add cumin, oregano, paprika, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and bay leaves and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Add chicken with marinade to chorizo mixture and cook, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring frequently, 10 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes, beer, broth, and rice and bring to a boil, making sure rice is submerged. [Deb note: I actually had a really hard time keeping the rice underneath the chicken so that it would cook evenly. I’d suggest that you use tongs to temporarily remove the chicken from the pot, mix the rice in with the other ingredients in the pot, and then replace the chicken, pressing it into the broth a bit before going onto the next step. I will definitely do this next time.]

Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover mixture directly with a round of parchment or wax paper and cover pot with a tight fitting lid. Cook, stirring once or twice, until rice is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Discard parchment paper and bay leaves, then scatter pimiento strips over rice.

Do ahead: Chicken can be marinated up to 2 hours in advance.

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147 comments on arroz con pollo

  1. Jen

    Oh, Deb, this looks perfect. I have had the worst craving for Cuban food since moving away from Manhattan. (Sophie’s, in the financial district. Drooling at my desk just thinking about it.) The best I’ve ever come is a very long Ropa Vieja recipe – which is delicious, but definitely not a one-bowl affair. This will be a part of my life this weekend.

  2. I totally agree with the chicken removal to allow the rice to cook with the veggies. I do that when I’m cooking the southern version of chicken and rice, it turns out beautifully.

    I can’t wait to make this for B (minus the green pepper). I love one pot meals and I love cuban food, life is good. :)

  3. Erin

    This sounds fabulous, just my kind of recipe! Do you think with an appropriate increase in liquid I could use brown rice with any success? I’ve gotten to the point where I only buy brown rice to cook at home, maybe to compensate for the unhealthy stuff we eat when we’re out…Thank you!

  4. I was going to do this dish next week! Actually, I might still do it, because I learned how to make it from a Cuban friend and it’s a little different than this one. I make it specifically because the leftovers are so good (and you can freeze them!). The beer is a new one on me. How did you like it in there?

  5. I have made Arroz con Pollo before and LOVE. IT!

    This looks equally as good as the recipe I used from one of the pretty boys of the Food Network. Now that the weather is cooler, I might have to dig out his cookbook and make it again. You’ve inspired me Deb! Imagine that!

  6. Mara

    Deb, if there’s anything I love more than a one dish meal it’s a meal in my slowcooker. I, however, suck at figuring out how to convert regular recipes in to slowcooker recipes, any ideas if that could be done to this bad boy? Mmm, getting excited for hearty, stewy, warming fall dishes… if only it weren’t somehow 85 degrees out still (mind you, I’m not REALLY complaining..).

  7. As a first time visitor to you site, I’m thrilled about your post. Oh, I’m so going to cook this! When can I start? Typical fall-food for me. Looks like a perfect dish to distract me from the fact that summer is really over. Can’t wait to taste it.

  8. Ingrid

    Cuban food is not really that spicy, and arroz con pollo is the kind of dish that everybody digs into (including babies!). In my family we always make arroz con pollo with an accompanying coriander/chile/almond/lemon mix (like a cuban salsa verde) – it spices things up for those who want it!

  9. One thing you could do to add some kick (though the food we had in Cuba was not spicy at all) would be to substitute some hot smoked paprika (not the sweet one) for the paprika and part of the cumin in this recipe. You’d still get the smokiness but would also get more heat.

  10. Olivia

    My husband makes a version of this and it is delish. Instead of cooking the rice and chicken together he makes the chicken with tomato sauce base ahead of time and freezes it. Then, we just put rice in the rice cooker and heat up the chicken and sauce for quick dinners.

    What’s the purpose of the parchment paper, though?

  11. Oh how I LOVE arroz con pollo. I used to make it once a week when I was single because the leftovers stayed so well and were so delicious. But now I only make it on the rare occasion that the boyfriend is out of town since he hates rice. How can someone hate rice? Weep!

    (You know what I add to it, because I love it! Some diced green olives and capers…I think it’s called “alcaparrado.” That’s how my Puerto Rican friends showed me to make theirs. Have fun experimenting!)

    1. Micaela

      Yes, alcaparrado is what PRicans use to give the dish some color. I was going to suggest to Deb that she try some pimento stuffed olives for color. Tho I skip them because my husband and I dislike olives and I always picked them out back home in PR.

      Arroz con pollo is an excellent dish to make for potlucks, usually my go-to because it feeds a lot of people and it’s usually picky-eater friendly.

    1. Micaela

      It’ll be fine, the chorizo adds some salt & smoke flavor that you can compensate for with other ingredients. You could use smoked paprika instead of regular, and/or fire roasted red peppers. The thing to remember about this dish is that it’s very flexible and practically every family in every former Spanish colony has their own version.

  12. At my house I leave work, pick my daughter (7) up from her after school program, go home and reheat the dinner I made the night before and start a new dinner for the next night. It sucks but if I didn’t do it that way we’d never eat a home cooked meal until 8 at night. As you can imagine, I’m a huge fan of the one pot and I can’t wait to try this. Another fave is harira.

  13. Casey

    This sounds like a great dish to make this weekend. It’s been raining here the past two days and it’s not supposed to let up, so this might fit the bill.

  14. deb

    Erin — Yes. I hadn’t realized that extra water was needed for brown rice; most recipes I had seen suggest a 1 part rice:2 part liquid ration for white or brown rice. Nonetheless, I could be completely wrong (not the first time!) and the best judge is how it looks. If the dish is drying out, definitely add more water. In fact, I tossed a few tablespoons of water in when I reheated the dish the second day, just to be safe.

    Olivia — Good question! I am presuming it keeps the liquid in even more tightly than a lid does. I did find it a pain-in-the-butt step (especially because our pot is oval!) but do think it did a good job of keeping all the juices from evaporating.

    Mara — Sadly, I’m very unfamiliar with the ways of the slow-cooker, but you’ve actually reminded me that I need to do a post on this. We received one as an engagement gift over two years ago and I have yet to use it. Shame on me!

    Jenn — I love, love, love chorizo but I don’t see why you couldn’t skip it. Since there is so much smoky paprika in Spanish chorizo, I would add even a tablespoon of extra to the dish, and more salt and pepper. Finally, you’ll need a bit more oil for sauteeing, but otherwise, I’m sure you’ll do just fine without it.

    M — I hate dry, flavorless chicken breast cutlets, and our odd American obsession with them. I love stewed and braised chicken dishes, flavorful and never, ever sawdust-like. Alex eats the white meat, I get the thighs and legs and we all live happily ever after. Aw.

  15. Deb, I hear you on the tired bit. I get home at 8:30 after work/gym (because gym needs some lovin’ too) and the last thing i want to do is cook. And then, it’s also writing up about the recipe too… Which I love, but Oh. SO. TIRED. We used canned beans in our house the other night — CANNED.. that’s like anathema to me, and yet, I didn’t care for cooking to such an extent! I hear you on braised, slow cooked meat that just falls off the bone!

  16. jenmoocat

    Hooray! A fabulous and easy recipe that I am going to make tomorrow! I was scrambling through the blogs I read to find something inticing — and this hit the spot. I can’t WAIT!

  17. this recipe looks delicious, and I am planning on making it either this weekend or next week. I was wondering what sort of beer you used. I love darker beers and don’t know lighter beers well at all.

  18. I saw this in the magazine and wanted to try it- now I definitely will. I think I, too, want to try it with brown rice. BTW, did you take the skin off the chicken? Judging by your photos, it looks like you didn’t. I wonder if I should leave it on while it cooks and then take them off before serving…..or would that make the broth too fatty?

  19. My mouth is WATERING. Those pictures look so good, I feel like grabbing a fork and digging in. Since I can’t afford a new laptop, I’m going to try to be patient and wait til I have the time to make this myself. “Try” was the operative word there.

  20. Wow! That looks delish. I’ve been avoiding cooking dinner the past week, too, until I got inspired enough to make a one-pot, Latin-inspired chicken dish, too! I’ve added your dish to my “To try/make” list of recipes.

  21. Oooooh…that looks yummy. And 1-pot makes it even better! Plus, it looks like something my fussy husband would like! Although, I may have to disguise the chorizo. Think using boneless, skinless thighs & breasts would work any differently?

    P.S. I also have a slow-cooker that I have no idea what to do with. Thank goodness I bought the BIG ONE. :)

  22. Ah! My grandmother was Puerto Rican (she passed away earlier this year) and she made the most amazing Arroz Con Pollo. My aunt has done a really good job of replicating it in her absence and I request it at almost every family affair. I’ve been scared to try making it myself, for fear it won’t compare, but you’ve inspired me to give it a try! If you love it when you don’t even feel like cooking, I’m sure I’ll manage. ;)

  23. jen

    I eat chicken but not pork/beef, and I imagine that the chorizo is either pork and/or beef. If I omit it, do you think the dish will suffer terribly? Any substitutions you can think of? Thanks! Enjoy the site and have been making lots of your recipes over the last few months.

  24. jen

    Update! I made this dish last night and it was a hit. I subbed turkey bacon for the chorizo, didn’t have hot paprika so I used the regular stuff and added a few shakes of some hot sauce from St. Maarten, didn’t have chicken stock so I added broth from chicken soup I made the other night. Topped with chopped green bell peppers. Super easy and super delicious. Will definitely make again, and now I’m in love with one-pot meals. Got more? Thanks!!

  25. I too made this dish last night! Though I’m not sure how “cuban” it turned out. First I substituted Turkey Kielbasa (German) for the Chorizo, I did learn later that there’s a soy chorizo that’s pretty good that I should have considered. Then I used Thai beer; I’m going very international here. It was an ok dish, last night, not really our flavor palate. But today for lunch I reheated it and added some cheddar, and it turned into a fabulous dish. Like they say “cheddar makes it better.”

  26. …there’s a Turkish bay leaf and a California bay leaf…?
    See? This is why Gourmet is so scary to us inexperienced cooks.
    Nevertheless, I’m gonna try this one. The nits love chicken and rice. And I’m all about one-pot meals. I’ll use whatever kind of bay leaf comes in the little spice jar…

  27. Heehee. I have been feeling the same way!!! So tired and uninspired and overall pathetic in the kitchen… and guess what? I made a one pot meal too:). Just last week. And the leftovers (cringe) were really FAB (whew). And it was comforting for my tired self…

    Hope you are feeling revived; I need to go buy that magazine…

  28. michelecb

    Back to the main narrative: you’re right about needing more green in this, but not green pepper! Definitely what you need is petitpois (early peas) lots of original recipes call for canned. I add frozen at the last minute and they warm up wonderfully and a a colorful pop and subtle sweetness. And absolutely, you MUST have freshly steamed asparagus spears for garnish. Along with the pimientos morrones. Then it is 100% authentic Cuban style. I know, cause I am! Make sure to serve it with fried plantains. GREEN plantains, tostones – not ripe (maduros), Ripe are for eating with black beans and rice, con gris and morros con cristianos.

    Anyway, I am going to try this recipe with my additions above. Sometimes the original recipes are stuck in the 50’s. If you don’t believe me, read Cocina al Minuto, the Cuban housewife’s 1950’s bible.


  29. Dancer who eats

    So, I finally made this. My husband liked it but I had mixed reviews. I am Peruvian so I grew up this Green chicken and rice but learned to make the more popular version of Red chicken and rice when my Costa Rican friend taught me to make this in a rice cooker. Both of our recipes include peas as michelecb said but my Costa Rican friend also added shredded carrots which gives a nice sweetness.

    Mine was a mess because I waited too long to stir after adding the rice. This caused not all the rice to cook which lead to frantic mixing and adding of water when the mixture got too dry. So I ended up with really good tasting mush. Everything negative was my fault and it only affected the texture. The dish still tasted great!

  30. amy

    Made this last night and it was wonderful, even omitting the chorizo step (just added a little more olive oil). I used brown rice and while it didn’t need any extra liquid, it took 45 minutes to cook after adding the rice instead of 20-30 minutes (it wasn’t mushy though). I really liked how the beer sort of gave this dish an extra ‘kick’, as did the cayenne pepper I added ;). Overall, definitely worthy of making again…and again and again!

  31. lindie

    For those who don’t eat pork/beef and don’t want to add chorizo, there is a really good substitute that I have found in the organic section of my grocery store. It’s called “Soyrizo” and, as the name suggests, it is a soy product. It has a very good taste, and I have used it in several Mexican dishes that I make. Every year I host a Mexican fiesta and my soyrizo dishes have been devoured by both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike!

  32. guinnevere

    lindie- not sure if you will get this message being so long ago, but soyrizo is MEXICAN style chorizo, quite different from spanish style, which is a hard cured sausage. as i’m sure you noticed, mexican chorizo is a loose sausage, more like our jimmy dean. it will not have the same flavour or texture.

    i do love soyrizo, though, and use it in my migas and chilaquiles and no one is ever the wiser!

    i am absolutely making this this week. and adding peas. and posting it in the new flickr group!

  33. Martina

    I made this two nights ago and my family loved it! I didn’t use green bell pepper (didn’t have any on hand) or chorizo (I had some in the freezer but I forgot to let it defrost) but it came out really good anyway. Thanks a bunch for the recipe!!

  34. Erin

    I finally made this with brown rice and it was terrific! I used some brown rice called wehani, and it took quite a bit longer to cook than it would have with white rice, but worked out just fine!

  35. Nathan

    Hey I got some Cuban heritage and let me give you some tips (they are just tips Im not trying to make you look bad)

    (1)The arroz con pollo is suppose to be yellow so I suggest adding about 1 teaspoonful or “BIJOL” and a couple threads of saffron if desired but Bijol works great add as much as you need to turn it yellow.

    (2)You used to much tomato just use 1 can 8 oz tomato sauce

    (3)Chicken is best marindaded with crushed garlic to a paste, cumin, oregano, and black pepper and lime juice instead of vinegar or even better fresh BITTER ORANGE

    (4)Brown Chicken first on high heat, set aside add more oil and make the “sofrito” you made withe the garlic, bell pepper, and onion, then add tomato sauce and deglaze with beer, then proceed.

    (5)Add some more salt it will be bland

    (6)Paprika is not needed at all.

    (7)Red bell pepper will make the dish look prettier instead of using green, and also adding some frozen peas mized into the rice or canned peas without liquid add a nicer appeal.

    That’s pretty much it hope it helped :)

  36. Luis

    Cuban food isn’t supposed to be spicy at all, so adding a kick to this dish would be very unauthentic. The dish is supposed to be edible by anybody, and diners who like heat are supposed to apply it as a condiment at the table.

    Still, I’d go for it. However, if you want to give it some really serious kick, one of the best ways is to replace some of the green pepper with habanero or scotch bonnet. This is not as inauthentic as it sounds, actually, because the habanero is a close relative of Cuban sweet peppers (ají dulce, a.k.a. ají cachucha). Other than the searing heat, the habanero’s flavor would fit right in with Cuban cuisine. I’d devein and deseed those critters for this dish, of course—since you want them both for heat and flavor, the more heat you can take out of each, the more of them you can use.

    The other comment I have: this recipe strikes me as Spanish-leaning Cuban cuisine, i.e., a Cuban dish made by Cuban cooks who want to make the result more closely resemble Spanish cuisine than everyday Cuban food does. The chorizos and the paprika are the main element there. If one wanted to take it further along that line, one might add manzanilla olives and capers, or saffron.

    The other direction one could take this dish is to make a more everyday version. For that, I’d get rid of the paprika, chorizo, and maybe replace the bay leaf with culantro (or cilantro if culantro isn’t available; some Cubans dislike culantro, though, so it’s really a personal choice). I’d use annatto (a.k.a. achiote, bija) as Nathan recommends above, too.

    You could also use celery in this dish (chopped finely and sauteed along with the onion and pepper). If you can find some Cuban, Puerto Rican or Dominican sweet peppers, you should substitute some of the bell pepper with those. (Though again, if everybody who will eat it enjoys spicy food, habaneros could stand in for those.)

  37. Jeannette

    deb, just so you know… i made this last night. iii am not a master in the kitchen so this took me forever to make. and i omitted (chorizo, bay leaves, cumin, vinegar, white rice, and sliced pimento peppers) and added a few things (lime juice, cajun seasoning, peas, corn, red bell pepper, brown rice). and i must say: I. WAS. WORRIED. your pictures always look fab and that was quite the intimidating factor. but i made it… and it was glorious. not as pretty, but glorious none-the-less. exactly what i had been wanting for the longest time.

    the best part was licking my fingers after peeling off the chicken from the bone. and my hands still smell of garlic today :) i can’t wait for the left-overs. eek.

  38. Jill

    Hi Deb-

    Do you think this would work with boneless chicken, skipping chorizo and safron in place of cumin?

    I know it won’t be the same – but would it be too bland?


  39. sarah

    i just learned about a great recipe similar to the one posted–i was warned to not use boneless chicken because it will be too dry due to the length of cooking time. plus, chicken with the bone-in is cheaper.

  40. Irene

    Weighing in a little late, but another tip: this dish is traditionally made with valencia (I think its also called arborio or pearl?) rice. Its a little better at sopping up all of that brothy goodness than the long-grain stuff. Also, as a fellow Cuban, I tend to agree with Nathan and Luis. Arroz con Pollo is the ultimate Cuban comfort food. The recipe you have including the paprika and chorizo is interesting, but not necessarily traditional. These ingredients seem to be superimposed on what is otherwise a pretty mild dish, which is why the dish probably needs to be “kicked up” so that the spicy chorizo doesn’t seem so out of place. Your take sounds delicious!

  41. Irene Again

    One last thing- your instinct for something green is right. A lot of Cuban families throw in about a cup of peas near the end of cooking time (5-10 minutes left) to accomplish that. I’ve tried using green pepper, but found it had a little too much bite and made the dish unbalanced.

  42. I made this dish tonight and I have 1 word to sum it up. DELICIOUS ! I loved it and will make it over and over again. Thank You for putting it on your website. Yum !

  43. Lindsay

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was amazing! My boyfriend and I agreed there was no changes necessary, but I’m a wimp when it comes to too much heat. I was a bit worried about the amount of water so I added a splash more chicken broth and it was perfect. Thank you for this recipe!

  44. angelina

    Last night I made your Arroz Con Pollo and followed Nathan’s tips (accidentally got stewed, diced tomatoes instead of tomato sauce so I just drained the stewed, diced tomatoes). My husband is Cuban and he REALLY LIKED it. On TOP of that, I’ve been teased about my inability to properly cook rice. Not last night. He asked for MORE! Crazy. Very cool. I so happy last night! Like SO happy. Kind of ridiculous, but true.

  45. Deirdre

    I made this last night and we gobbled it like crazy! I only used thighs and instead of vinegar used fresh squeezed lime juice to marinate the chicken. I probably could have used less lime juice as the overall dish was a bit tangy, but very good nonetheless! I also browned the chicken first and used some of the beer to deglaze the pan. YUMM! I’ll definitely make this easy and inexpensive dish again. I use the recipes in this blog more than any other site! Love it :)

  46. Francheska

    I love arroz con pollo! Im from Puerto Rico and we make it a little different here, We use tomato sauce, garlic, sazon a lot of recao (kinda like coriander) and sofrito, Its the perfect comfort food with red beans and tostones (fried plantains) dipped in banana ketchup, DARN now im starving!

    By the way I have been lurking here for a while and i must say I love your recipes they always come out so tasty I just made that hostess cake, Amazing!

  47. Sharon

    My mother learned this recipe from a cuban friend when I was a child and i have loved it ever since.That is why I am looking for a recipe today. I remember the ingredients but not the ratio of things. Instead of just red pepper/pimiento though, it is much better if you use green olives stuffed with pimento!! We have always left the sauce with the chicken and served white rice and avocado slices.
    Thanks for the recipe!!!

  48. Laura

    I am eating this right now and it is Delicioso! I added perfectly ripe advocado to the top…This is amazing! It is so easy to make, but I definitely halved the recipe for two people and we will still have leftovers :-) Thank You!

  49. Kelly W.

    made these for my son’s second birthday party – they were a bigger hit than the cake. Just awesome – thanks for the recipe!!

  50. Harriette

    Hello, this looks delicious and I definitely would like to make this for my family. My only problem is that I don’t drink. Is there something I could substitute for the bottle of beer?

  51. Thanks for this awesome recipe. I made it last night, and it was GREAT.

    We only had chicken breasts (not in-bone, etc), so I used a lot more tomatoes and about 1/2 lb of the chorizo. Also, we didn’t have beer, so I just used extra water.

    For the spiciness that you were saying you would have liked, I added two small jalepenos with the onions and bell peppers. It added a perfect kick.

    Even with all the substitutions, the recipe was great. Thank you once again!

  52. Pam

    This was very good! I added green olives and capers. I couldn’t find spanish chorizo so used andouille sausage. I omitted the beer, no special reason why, just don’t cook with it. Thanks for the recipe! Can’t wait to choose something from your index to make next week!

  53. academic who cooks

    I’m a huge fan of smittenkitchen! Thanks, Deb, for the cheekiness and the fab food! I am planning on making the Arroz con Pollo for dinner this weekend – what kind of beer do you recommend using and do you have any wine pairing recommendations? I’m thinking a Spanish Rioja might do the trick given the tomato base?

  54. Gina

    Oh I love the pictures of the Arroz con Pollo. It is true Cuban comfort food. I am Cuban and Mama taught me to make it in 20 minutes! Luis & Nathan are right on the ball, use 8 oz. tomato sauce instead of the cut up tomatoes. Arroz con Pollo should make one swoon at the delicious taste. It is not supposed to have a kick at all. If you want a kick, eat Mexican food! LOL!!

  55. Jenalyn

    I’m about to make this dish right now! I live in Tucson, AZ, and it is impossible to find Spanish Chorizo. :( I’m not substituting anything, but I’m hoping it will be delish! I was looking for a good, “one pot meal,” because I’m tired too! :) Thank you fork the lovely photography and yummy recipes!!

  56. Marie

    This is a really really good recipe! thanks for sharing :)
    the only little amendment that I made the 2nd time I did this was to brown the marinated chicken pieces first in olive oil, take them out, then add the chorizo, onions, garlic, peppers and the rest of the ingredients to the same pot. I only added the chicken back into the pot after addition of tomatoes, beer, broth and rice. this makes the chicken extra juicy and moist inside. delish!

  57. aimee

    i made this tonite & paired this with some simple cuban style black beans & for dessert made your ‘oatmeal, chocolate chip and pecan cookies.’ my boyfriend called the entire meal “amazing” & i have to agree.
    THANK YOU so very much for this website. this site is perfect, you have totally re-inspired me to cook & bake more. everything about your site is great – clean, easy, simple but compelling pics occ added & your little insights, observations & your goofs. (i made one of your banana bread recipes last week – even used yr mini-loaf idea so my boyfriend got one too). i will be a frequent visitor from here on out!

  58. Charles E

    For those that are adventurous and those that are scared, I ask that you not get upset, or thrown off track by the mention of different Herbs and Spices and the localities they come from. This information is for the experienced cook who knows and understands the difference in the regions which also adds a different flovor of either stronger or weaker in flavor.

    Might I offer a example on Oregano, their is Italian, American, Mexican and soon on. In the above recipe the cook clarified the amount by the amount and type to be used.

    Please remember and not being insulting the average American knows only Salt and Pepper any thong else is a real mystery and wonder. So if your not sure ask check out the various web sites, Google the Herb or Spice and get a education that will fire you up to seek out more.

    If you think this confuses you I have some Tibetan and Nepal recipes that would make you run and hide.

    Good Luck and keep exploring the wonderful World of Food.

  59. Rachel S.

    First I have to say I love your blog!!! I discovered it last week when I googled “how to poach an egg” Your site popped up and had step by step instructions and it gave me the courage to do it! And I have successfully poached 2 eggs in the last week thanks to you. So anyway, I started looking at the rest of the recipes and there are so many I want to try! I literally went through every post back to 2006. I found this recipe and figured it’d be the first I’d try! and WOW it was amazing!!! My picky boyfriend said it was one of the best things I’ve ever made. I did use boneless skinless chicken breast (sorry!) and to not have it dry out, I added it back with 20 minutes left. I also used brown rice so it took about 40 mins total. I added a small can of diced green chiles, a couple dashes of cayenne pepper and tomato sauce instead of tomatoes. This is definitely going to be a regular in my house. Thank you! omnomnom

  60. What am I doing wrong?? Every time I try to make rice in a pot with anything else – even tomatoes – it takes forever to cook, waaaay longer than the recipe says – and the whole thing ends up mushy. I keep having to add liquid and keeping the bottom of the pot from crusting over with a burnt layer of rice. I made this tonight and it didn’t come out well for all these same reasons. I have made many recipes from this blog and have loved them all. Obviously I am doing something wrong. Please help!

  61. This sounds absolutely delicious…can’t wait to impress my wife with this! I think I’ll throw a bottle of Gewurztraminer on the table for the two of us as well. Typically, spicy foods need spicy wines, but Gewurztraminer has depth with the spice. It should do well with the chorizo and oregano.

  62. ruth

    I LOVE ARROZ CON POLLO. Very similar to moms Puerto Rican version. It’s my favorite dish and nobody can make it like mami (not even me :(). To freshen up on my P. Rican cooking I go to and attempt to make one new recipe a week. Basic Rican staples for Rican recipes are sofrito which is used for pretty much everything but desserts and mojo de ajo (garlic oil ). Trust me this savory oil is good on Spanish rice, meat and even in salads. This website was a godsend for me when i started to cook for myself. Hope you guys enjoy it also.

  63. Hi Deb! I’m a professional ballet dancer with type one diabetes- a condition that pretty much destroyed my love of food for nearly ten years. With a good support group, new dance company, and relationship I’ve been making my way back to enjoying cooking and eating and in the past few months I’ve made probably about thirty recipes from this site. Then, bam- I find out that I have celiac disease too! So no more gluten- but luckily, I can still make this recipe with everything except for the beer. Do you have any suggestions on a good substitute? Maybe diet cola? Anyways, thanks for the blog, the laughs, the recipes, and bringing this gluten free diabetic ballerina back to the kitchen. -jess

  64. michelle

    It seems like every family and region has it’s own twist on this dish. I learned to make it with bone-in, skin on thighs and legs, or a cleaned, portioned out fryer hen. I season the pieces with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, onion, and cumin, then fry them until brown. My rice tends to run on the drier side (I hate mushy rice- it’s a travesty), and cook the rice with onion, garlic, poblano peppers, and tomato, and a bit of salt, pepper, cumin, and turmeric or saffron, or if I have it, achiote oil. Sometimes I’ll toss in a can of green olives with pimientos for my husband, who loves them.

  65. michelle

    Jess- you can make this with chicken stock. Or wine. Personally, I prefer chicken stock, but use whatever flavor you want, that won’t make you sick.

  66. Kara

    This seems like the perfect dish for wintertime, but I’m worried about the integrity of wintertime tomatoes. Could you use canned instead? If so, what kind would you recommend and would you drain them first? Thanks!!

  67. Lou Ann Brown

    This is essentially a paella. I subbed tomatillos for the tomatoes and sautéed the rice in the veg/chorizo mix befor adding liquids. Once one knows the “way of the paella” there are a zillion ways to make a rice veg and protein one pot meal. I use a steel “cowboy skillet” made by Lodge.

  68. Alex

    Made it tonight with boneless chicken breasts chopped into smallish pieces and used soy chorizo (which is kind of crumbly). also substituted a can of chopped tomatoes for the fresh ones, and it turned out GREAT! the whole family loved it and looking forward to leftovers

    1. deb

      Mindy — You take it off. I know it sounds insane — why not just use cutlets — but I’ve tried it all ways and I really prefer it like this. Bone-in means the meat has the most flavor and tenderness; skin-off means there are no flabby bits you’re not going to be crazy about later in your dish. Plus, the garlic-oregano marinade sinks in better.

  69. Meaghan

    Yum, can’t wait to try this!

    We have a celiac in our house and can’t use regular beer. Do you have any ideas for an alternative? GF beer is kind of cidery-tasting and I’m not sure it would work. Thanks!

  70. Liz

    Great recipe! I used brown rice and ended up taking the chicken out of the pot about half way so that the rice could continue cooking. That give time for the chicken to cool and I deboned it and put it back in the pot when the rice was done. Next time I will try short grain, for me the long grain got a little mushy. I took the spices in more of a Spanish direction and added saffron and thyme.

  71. Rachel Joy

    How many pieces of chicken is this supposed to be? For the breasts, after they are cut, are their 4 breast pieces or 8? I bought 4 breast halves and had them halved, plus the 8 other pieces of thighs and drumsticks, and I have a TON of chicken! I have a total of 16 pieces. Maybe the butcher didn’t understand me or didn’t know what I was talking about when I asked for breast halves, halved. Help! Thank you, I’m really excited to cook this. Ha, this is a vegetarian who hasn’t cooked with chicken in a few years and I’m feeling like a clueless rookie.

  72. deb

    Rachel — You are correct; it is a ton of chicken: you end up with 8 pieces of breast, 4 drumsticks and 4 thighs but I promise, the leftovers are wonderful. I can’t tell you how many times since 2007 I’ve tried to trim down the steps here for a simplified weeknight or slow-cooker version and concluded that it’s just better this way. Hope you enjoyed. (I, btw, was very new to meat in 2007 too! This is a good gateway dish.)

  73. Rachel Joy

    Deb, thanks so much for your response, really put my mind at ease! I made this twice last week! So so good. Once for a friend that recently had surgery, and I thought it was so good that I wanted to share with family for a little birthday party a few days later. This is a delicious recipe to feed a crowd and I followed it to a T. Once again, Smitten Kitchen for the win! Although it does not make me want to cook with meat again regularly, what a mess, haha. I love the rice part so much, any ideas for a replacement for the chicken? Some heart veggies or tofu or ??? Arroz con…?

  74. Mel

    Delicious! Made half the recipe tonight (which is rainy and chilly) with 4 thighs. Also skipped the pimentos and sausage because I didn’t have either but added a bit of extra olive oil at the beginning and peas at the end. It was hearty, tasty, and inexpensive. We really enjoyed it! Thanks Deb!! Another winner from from Smitten Kitchen :)

  75. Sherri

    I made this in the slow cooker. I didn’t adjust the liquid at all. Pushed skinless boneless chicken thighs. Cooked on Los for 4 hours and it was delicious.

  76. Mary Farrand

    I love that you use the phrase “slack ass”. When you are a mom, as you are, and put out this tremendous blog, I as a 60yo mom veteran who works a 40hr a week gig, get ya!

  77. Amy

    My family loved this. I reduced the amount of chicken to 2 half breasts and 6 thighs because I only have a 4qt dutch oven. Next time I would use only one bay leaf, less oregano, and maybe a touch of chili powder. I also think it would be interesting to add black olives.

  78. elizabeth

    just thinking…would love if you’d make a new category “one-pot dinners”. you have quite a few and i would love to access them easily.

  79. Sheilah Crider

    I use sofrito, cook the Apollo (use breasts) and remove it from the pan – then cook rice and veggies til almost done before as adding the pollo back into the pan. I make mine from Puerto Rican recipe.

  80. Lauren

    Any suggestions for substitutions for the beer? I have celiac disease so the gluten in the beer is a problem. Would white wine work?

  81. Rosemarie

    When I was a newlywed, arroz con pollo was the first meal I served to guests. It was amazing, and the beginning of a beautiful relationship with cooking for company.

  82. Niamh Morris

    We eat a variation on this dish regularly, it’s a Delia Smith recipe for “Basque Chicken” and it’s everything you say – one pot, no washing up, suits my family of habitually late arrivers and it’s absolutely delicious! I’m excited to make this and interested in how the marinating in vinegar will work. Thanks for being a constant source of inspiration.

  83. CS

    This is a very easy and tasty recipe! We kind of halved it, only used two boneless, skinless chicken breasts (and 3 cloves garlic, 1t salt, 1 T vinegar, 1t oregano for marinade/paste). A third breast might have been nice since we had quite a bit of rice left over and not quite enough meat. Kept 3 cloves garlic for the sauce, subbed one chopped Trader Joe’s cooked jalapeno chicken sausage for the pork chorizo, subbed one can of chopped tomatoes with the liquid/juice for the fresh, subbed one large red bell pepper for the green one and omitted the pimentos/roasted peppers. Added ~1/8 t. cayenne pepper, but probably could have added more, wasn’t spicy at all. Halved the rest of the ingredients. Yumba!

  84. laurengranger21

    We made this and I made some modifications to the amount of liquid to cook this in my instant pot. Oh man. This was ah-mazing!!! And my boyfriend loved it. The flavors were perfect and it was even better the next day! This will be added into the regular dinner rotation.

  85. Vanessa

    This has really become a classic dish in our family, as I have made it many, many times in recent years. It’s my husband’s favorite meal. I make the following changes: green pepper instead of read, substantially more liquid (like 3+ cups), and just water instead of stock, because I think that with the simmering of the bone-in chicken here, it’s really not necessary. So incredibly delicious!

  86. jjjeanie

    What the recipe be worth making if you just omit the chorizo without trying to substitute? I was a vegetarian for 30 yrs, and even thought I eat beef, poultry, and bacon, I still can’t stand the smell (or idea) of any kind of sausage.

  87. Jen H

    Do you think this could be adapted for the Instant Pot? If so, any thoughts about how? Also I love someone’s suggestion about adding a section for “one pot meals.”

  88. Meredith

    any chance you can marinate the chicken longer? would love to do all the prep the night before and then just cook when i get home. though i guess i could just cook fully the night before!

  89. Ruth

    This recipe brings back so many good memories of my childhood (I grew up in Puerto Rico). My grandma and mom used a very similar recipe to prepare their arroz con pollo. Instead of chopping the garlic we used to create a garlic, cumin, oregano and adobo paste with a mortar and pestle. Sometimes, fresh cilantro was added. Then, they browned the paste with the onions and peppers. After that, the pan was deglazed with tomato sauce and broth. That was the base of the rice. I remember the entire house filling with the aroma!

  90. Just cooked this and am so pleased with it! Was skeptical about the beer but it works in the rice perfectly. Thank you Deb!

    I’ve loved reading your blog so much. Am especially inspired by your game approach to a NYC kitchen. I’m in Brooklyn and have learned from you that my galley kitchen is no excuse to not cook a great meal!

  91. Kate

    I have now made this twice and it is delicious, a great one pot meal.
    Please learn from my errors though: when Deb says that if you don’t have beer or don’t want to use it you can replace the liquid with water, what she does not mean is replace the water with extra stock. This made it excessively salty (still tasty though). Second time round I was exercising caution and thought I would leave out the salt in the pot and use water instead of beer. End result = slightly under seasoned. Obey your culinary queen people!

  92. Veneta Angelova

    I made this for a first time last weekend and again tonight. I used chopped up chicken, and notably less volume for the same amount for the rest of the ingredients. I also had to stir all the time from the moment I added the rice to the pot. But the result is awesome! Very tasty, especially as leftovers. And the fact that this all works with 1 pot, 1 bowl and 1 cutting board means significantly easier clean up. I realize I found this over a decade after it was written, but it is still great!

  93. Janice

    Oh my goodness, this was delicious…very little left with 4 people eating.
    Next time I would add more heat. It was an hour in the kitchen, working full speed…so it was alot of work…but worth it.

    I will make this again. This is my first visit to your site. I read your article in the New York Times Sunday Magazine. Thank You!

  94. Cdfs

    The only thing I changed was that I used brown rice instead otherwise followed the recipe but I had so much liquid in the pot after the cooking time was over? What do you think I did wrong?

    1. deb

      I’m not sure — I make this pretty often. It’s definitely not a dry rice dish or anything, but I’ve never had a lot of liquid sloshing around. I suppose some chicken could be more watery than others, depending on how it’s processed. Did you try to cook it off with the lid off for a bit at the end?

  95. Dominique Rychlik

    How do I love this recipe? Let me count the ways !
    I use boneless thighs, bell peppers fresh, no pimiento. But a family fave! Thank you!

  96. Shelly Gauvreau

    Wow … I make a lot of meals from your site and can honestly say I have never had one I didn’t like. This recipe is no different. Excellent flavor, good instructions, easy to make. Marinated the chicken while I sliced and diced everthing else, measured out the spices to a small plate for easy addition so once I started I just had to dump things in.

  97. Sarah

    I have been making this oldie-but-goodie since about 2013, and it still slaps, as the kids say. The minor tweaks I make are 1) I use all bone-in chicken thighs, usually about 8. 2) I skip the olive oil and after frying the chorizo, scoot it to the side, and then cook the chicken skin-down to render the chicken fat and brown and crisp the skin. The skin obviously does not stay crispy after a cook in the rice, but it’s nicely browned and you get the bonus of more flavorful rice without having flabby steamed chicken skin. 3) If you don’t have spicy paprika, regular or smoked paprika plus 1/4tsp cayenne works well too. 4) When the chicken is done, I like to remove it, add an extra little splash of vinegar, stir in a 5oz bag of spinach for a little extra green, and replace the chicken and lid and let it wilt a bit.