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Arroz Con Pollo

This easy Arroz Con Pollo recipe is quick to prepare, makes a ton of food, and is a nourishing comforting meal. A simple recipe requiring only ten basic ingredients, the majority of which you likely keep stocked in your pantry!

Arroz con Pollo recipe - an easy recipe for chicken and rice made in one pot or skillet.

My best friend from high school is from Bolivia, and her family moved to the U.S. when she was fifteen. Even as a teenager, she was a talented cook, and she and her family introduced me to so many amazing foods – the most memorable being empanadas, Menudo, Arroz con Leche and Arroz con Pollo.

I fondly remember the first time I enjoyed Arroz con Pollo.

At the time, I couldn’t put into words the reason it was so enticing, but the light and fluffy rice and tender chicken had me swooning. I was convinced my friend’s style of cooking was pure magic, as food simply did not taste like that in my own home growing up.

Her family helped inspire my love for unique cuisine and influenced my desire to travel – in college, I took two trips to Chile and Peru, where I tried even more amazing food, learned much about the cultures, and still have so many fond memories.

Having experienced the deliciousness of South American cuisine, I’ve been inspired to re-create some of the dishes myself, which is what we’re doing here.

Let’s chat about this lovely meal!

One-Pot Arroz con Pollo recipe - an easy recipe for chicken and rice made in one pot or skillet.

What is Arroz Con Pollo:

Arroz con Pollo originates from Spain and South America, and translates simply to “rice with chicken.” Each country that has an iconic Arroz con Pollo dish has a bit of a different take on it. 

For instance, some recipes call for saffron, others for bell pepper and/or jalapenos, some incorporate peas, etc.

In addition, some countries dredge the chicken in flour prior to browning it. For the sake of keeping the recipe ultra simple, I skip the flour. You can easily use gluten-free or regular all-purpose flour for dredging the chicken if you’re looking for even crispier chicken!

The recipe you have found in this post is very basic yet marvelously flavorful. You can easily add saffron threads, a red or green bell pepper, a cup of frozen or canned peas, or even green beans to make it your own. Love spicy food? Chop up a jalapeno or two and toss it in!

The name says it perfectly, because there is a ton of rice (a major win) with a decent helping of chicken. This is great news, for folks like me who absolutely love their rice with a side of protein 😉

If you love to meal prep, this easy Arroz con Pollo recipe is perfect for fueling you for lunches or dinners throughout the week!

Quick and simple Arroz Con Pollo - a basic, delicious recipe for chicken and rice

Ingredients for Arroz Con Pollo:

Bone-in Chicken Thighs: Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are arguably the most flavorful cut of chicken. The fat and dark meat yields a tremendous amount of flavor with little effort needed! I don’t recommend substituting chicken breasts for the thighs, but you can also use bone-in drumstick. 

Seasonings: paprika, garlic powder, dried oregano, sea salt – these seasonings bring flavor to the chicken and the rice and liven up the dish. 

White Rice: Arroz con pollo is best made using white rice to get that ultra fluffy Spanish-style rice that makes this meal irresistible. I don’t recommend swapping the white rice for brown rice, as brown rice takes much longer to cook, which will cause the chicken to over-cook.

Onion & Garlic: Those two ingredients that bring amazing flavor to any dish.

Chicken Broth: Used to cook both the rice and the chicken for the ultimate flavor infusion. While you can use water, I highly recommend sticking with broth, as it gives the dish much more complexity.

Tomato Paste: Adding rang and a pop of flavor, tomato paste brings spunk to the arroz. Don’t skip it!

So let’s make it!

How to Make Arroz Con Pollo:

Soak the white rice for at least 15 minutes, then drain it well (it’s okay if there’s a small amount of moisture on the rice).

While the rice is soaking, sprinkle the chicken thighs with paprika, garlic powder, and sea salt on both sides.

In a bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the broth, tomato paste, dried oregano, and sea salt until well-combined. Set aside until ready to use.

Heat a large cast iron skillet or thick-bottomed pot (like a Dutch oven) over medium-heat and add the avocado oil. Once the skillet is very hot (about 350 degrees if you have a laser thermometer), carefully place the seasoned chicken thighs on the hot surface, skin side down. Brown for 3 to 5 minutes, until the skin is golden-brown and crispy, then flip chicken to the other side and brown another 3 to 5 minutes. Note: depending on the size of your skillet or pot, you may need to brown the chicken in two batches. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

How to Make Arroz con Pollo

Add the chopped onion to the skillet and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion turns translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the rice and garlic and use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to continuously stir until the rice has a bit of a golden-brown color to it, about 3 to 5 minutes (note this process helps ensure the rice becomes nice and fluffy).

Brown the rice in a skillet

Place the browned chicken thighs on top of the rice. Pour in the broth mixture and give everything a small stir.

How to cook arroz con pollo in a skillet

Cover the skillet and bring to a full boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until much of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice.

Cover the skillet and cook until rice has absorbed the broth

Use a fork to fluff up the rice and serve!

Finished arroz con pollo in a skillet on the stove top

Recipe Tips:

The trick to perfectly fluffy Spanish-style rice is browning the rice first. Be sure to not skip this step. The rice will want to stick to the skillet, which is why it is important to use the full 3 (or even 4) tablespoons of avocado oil and continuously stir the rice.

Use a well-seasoned cast iron skillet or else everything may stick.

More Chicken & Rice Dishes:

Easy One-Skillet Arroz Con Pollo Recipe - a quick and simple nourishing dinner that is easy to make and full of flavor

Enjoy!

Quick and simple Arroz Con Pollo - a basic, delicious recipe for chicken and rice

Arroz Con Pollo

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

An easy, nourishing, flavorful meal of chicken and rice made in one pot or skillet! Vibrant, healthful, delicious!

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups white rice, soaked then drained
  • 3 Tbsp avocado oil
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 ½ Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp dried oregano

Instructions

    1. Soak the white rice in water for at least 15 minutes, then drain it well.

    2. While the rice is soaking, sprinkle the chicken thighs with 1 of the teaspoons of sea salt, paprika, and garlic powder on both sides.

    3. In a bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the broth, tomato paste, dried oregano, and sea salt until well-combined. Set aside until ready to use.

    4. Heat a large cast iron skillet or thick-bottomed pot (like a Dutch oven) over medium-heat and add the avocado oil. Once the skillet is very hot (about 350 degrees if you have a laser thermometer), carefully place the seasoned chicken thighs on the hot surface, skin side down. Brown for 3 to 5 minutes, until the skin is golden-brown and crispy, then flip chicken to the other side and brown another 3 to 5 minutes. Note: depending on the size of your skillet or pot, you may need to brown the chicken in two batches. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

    5. Add the chopped onion to the skillet and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion turns translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes.

    6. Add the rice and garlic and use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to continuously stir until the rice has a bit of a golden-brown color to it, about 3 to 5 minutes (note this process helps ensure the rice becomes nice and fluffy).

    7. Place the browned chicken thighs on top of the rice. Pour in the broth mixture and give everything a small stir.

    8. Cover the skillet and bring to a full boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until much of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Use a fork to fluff up the rice and serve!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 of 8 Serving Size: 1 of 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 431Total Fat: 22gCarbohydrates: 24gSugar: 1gProtein: 30g
Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken with Rice) made in one pot using 10 ingredients! This simple and comforting recipe is amazing comfort food!

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Terri

Wednesday 3rd of February 2021

Is this instant rice?

Julia

Wednesday 3rd of February 2021

Hi Terri,

I use regular basmati white rice, not the instant kind. I assume Instant will work too, although I haven't tried it. xoxo

Glenda

Wednesday 3rd of February 2021

I’m making this tonight! Looks so good ...just divine!

Joseph

Tuesday 2nd of February 2021

Omgosh, shut the front door. Seeing this while cooking rice in the morning sent my appetite pow pow.

Julia

Tuesday 2nd of February 2021

Wahoo!! Mission accomplished! Hope you try it. xoxo

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