Arroz con pollo, chicken cooked and rice cooked together with a fragrant Sofrito base, tomato sauce, garlic, warm spices, and briny olives and capers. The perfect, quick one-pot family meal.
Every culture has their go-to one-pot protein and rice dish. Whether its South Asian biryani, Palestinian maqlouba, or Cajun jambalaya, these dishes are comforting favorites. For Puerto Ricans, it’s arroz con pollo, rice with chicken. This is one dish you should add to your repertoire.
Arroz con pollo (Puerto Rican rice with chicken)
- 4 tbsp neutral oil or preferably achiote oil
- 4 tbsp sofrito if you don't have sofrito, substitute a mixture of finely minced onion, garlic, sweet peppers, cilantro
- 3-4 lbs chicken parts most people prefer skin-on, bone-in drums and thighs but you can use whichever parts you like
- kosher salt and pepper
- 1 onion coarsely chopped
- 2 tsp cumin ground
- 1 tsp coriander ground
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ cup mixed pitted or stuffed manzanilla olives and capers (sold together as alcaparrado)
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 14 oz frozen or canned green pigeon peas (gandules verdes) if you can't find, substitute green peas
- 3 cups medium grain rice well washed
- Heat oil in large pot over high heat.
- Season chicken parts liberally with salt and pepper. Sear chicken until skins are golden and crisp. Do not crowd pot, and sear in batches if necessary. Beware of splattering oil, use a splatter screen if you have one. Remove chicken.
- Turn down to medium-high. Fry sofrito for a few minutes until very fragrant.
- Add coarsely chopped onion and spices. Saute until onions are soft.
- Add alcaparrado / olives and capers and saute.
- Add tomato paste and fry 3-4 minutes.
- Add peas and mix thoroughly.
- Add washed rice and mix thoroughly until well-coated with tomato and seasonings. Add salt to taste (about 1½ tbsp if using kosher crystal salt). Toast rice for 3-4 minutes, continually stirring and scrapping down sides of pot.
- Add chicken back to pot and mix well into rice. Smooth out the top of rice.
- Add water to cover rice by about 1/2 an inch, or about 1 cm. It's alright if chicken pokes out above water but make sure rice grains are all submerged.
- Turn up heat and bring to a boil. Cover pot with foil to create airtight seal and cover with lid. Turn down heat to medium-low. Simmer for 35- 40 minutes, turn off heat and let sit another ten minutes covered before serving.