Arroz con pollo recipe

En español

Arroz con pollo –literally rice with chicken – is another one of those meals that I want when I crave a good home cooked meal. Each person’s version of that home cooked meal varies based on their personal experiences,but I’m sure that you can remember the smell and the taste of the dish you crave, and of course the pleasure that you feel when you take the first bite is the same for everyone. Why is it that those cravings usually show up right when you’re surrounded by every possible choice -food wise- except for the food you really crave? I could go on forever about my theories on food cravings (and I’m not even pregnant), but back to arroz con pollo, which again like so many other Latin/South American/Ecuadorian dishes has many variations from one country, region, city or home to another.  The ingredients, besides the rice and chicken, will differ from one family’s recipe to another or simply based on what one has in their refrigerator or pantry.


There are also different preparation methods for arroz con pollo or chicken rice, one of the typical ways to make chicken rice is to first poach or boil the chicken until tender, then remove the meat, while separately cooking the rice in the broth where the chicken was cooked, and later combining all the parts together. The other method – which I used for this recipe – is to sauté the chicken pieces with the vegetables and then add the rice and broth or beer/wine and cook everything together until the chicken and rice are cooked. I prefer to prepare the arroz con pollo this way because I like the way all the flavors concentrate together, also the first method – cooking the rice and chicken separately – is more of what I consider a chaulafan de pollo than arroz con pollo. Chaulafan de pollo is an Ecuadorian version of chicken fried rice and it is also a great dish, I will share that recipe later.

How to make arroz con pollo

This chicken rice is a great dish for satisfying hungry people – including a hungry husband’s need for carbs after a long run. I like to serve it with the typical side dishes that accompany many other South American meals: curtido de cebollas or pickled onions, fried ripe plantains, avocado slices and a good hot sauce or aji.  This recipe will serve 6-8 people.

Arroz con pollo or chicken rice

Yield: For 6-8 people

Arroz con pollo or chicken rice

Arroz con pollo, or chicken rice, is a delicious Latin American dish of chicken and rice cooked with onions, tomatoes, peppers, celery, garlic, achiote, cumin, cilantro, among other ingredients.


  • 3 lbs chicken, assorted pieces
  • 1 tbs achiote powder
  • 1 tbs ground cumin
  • ½ tbs ground coriander
  • 10 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2-3 tbs oil or butter
  • 1 white onion, diced, about 2 cups
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 4 roma tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup beer or white wine
  • 1 to 1 ½ cup water or broth
  • 2 cups rice
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 3 tbs finely chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper
  • Side dishes:
  • Ripe fried plantains
  • Cebollas encurtidas pickled onions or side salad
  • Avocado slices
  • Aji criollo


  1. Mix the crushed garlic, achiote, cumin, coriander and salt together.
  2. Rub the garlic seasoning on the chicken pieces.
  3. Heat the oil or butter on medium high heat in large sauté pan, add the chicken pieces (skin side down) and cook until browned on each side.
  4. Add the diced onions, tomatoes, bell pepper, and celery, mix well and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add 1 cup of beer or white wine, cook for about 20-25 minutes over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by half, stir frequently.
  6. Add the broth or water, rice, peas and carrots, mix well.
  7. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes.
  8. Reduce the heat to low and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the rice is tender but still slightly firm.
  9. Stir in the chopped cilantro and serve with maduros fritos or ripe fried plantains, a small salad, pickled onions, avocado slices, and hot sauce on the side.

Mix the crushed garlic, achiote, cumin, coriander and salt Rub the seasoning mix on the chicken

Cook the chicken until browned on each side Browning chicken for arroz con pollo

Add the diced veggies Add the beer or wine

Add the broth, rice, peas and carrots Preparing arroz con pollo or chicken rice

Homemade arroz con pollo Easy and delicious arroz con pollo

Arroz con pollo with side dishes Arroz con pollo or Latin style rice with chicken

Arroz con pollo or chicken rice Arroz con pollo or chicken rice

Arroz con pollo or rice with chicken recipe