A one-pot meal that turns ordinary chicken and rice into an elegant meal fit to be served on any special occasion or just because. Enjoy this classic Puerto Rican dish with fried plantains and a salad.
In my lifetime I have never met anyone who has never had this classic dish! This Puerto Rican arroz con pollo is our island's version of a dish that is made in basically every Latin/Hispanic household. This is a traditional dish that stems from Spain’s well-known paella. In fact, it's like a paella for people who don't like seafood or can't afford the extravagance of the ingredients that make up a paella.
This dish utilizes the affordable chicken instead, but made correctly with the right ingredients, the taste of it can feel as if you're eating a feast fit for a king! Puerto Ricans also do not use the more expensive saffron food coloring known but instead use annatto oil or achiote (for the recipe on how to make achiote oil, click here) to give this dish its signature rich color and flavor. Typically, arroz con pollo is made with a short-grain Valencia-style rice, and you're free to use that if you so choose. I, on the other hand, prefer to use long-grain rice as I find it less starchy and less likely to be sticky, which I don’t like. We also use beer in this dish as well as many other dishes, such as pollo guisado (braised stewed chicken) and asopao de pollo (chicken rice stew), but a key ingredient in our cooking is sofrito (click here for the recipe). Most of our rice dishes are seasoned with sofrito, and this ingredient differentiates our arroz con pollo from other Latin American versions. If you’ve been keeping up with my other Puerto Rican recipes I have listed on Hispanic Kitchen, you will note that we do not cook without it!
You won't be disappointed with this dish, and if you needed another reason to make it, one other perk is that it is considered a “one-pot meal.” Who wouldn’t want to be able to cook everything at once? Sure, it has a lot of ingredients (which is a reason you may want to make it on a weekend), but once you mix everything you’re on your way to enjoying one delicious meal.
In a mortar and pestle, combine garlic, salt, oregano, cumin, peppercorns and pound until mixture is paste-like.
Add in lime juice or vinegar and olive oil. Stir with a spoon and season the chicken with this mixture.
Let chicken rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, up to overnight.
In a Dutch Oven or large skillet, heat up the achiote oil and sauté the chicken over medium heat for at least 5 minutes (do not crowd the pot, if needed, sauté chicken in small batches). Drain and set chicken aside.
Heat the olive oil in same pot and sauté onion and pepper until onion is translucent.
Add sofrito, tomato sauce, beer, and chicken. Continue cooking over medium-low heat for at least 5 more minutes.
Mix in the remaining ingredients except for the peas and roasted red peppers and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low, once the liquid has evaporated somewhat, take a piece of aluminum foil and cover the pot with a lid and cook for 30 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated.
Remove lid and foil, stir well. If there are still rice grains that are not yet cooked, cover once again and cook until all rice grains are cooked.
To serve, arrange the rice and chicken on a platter and pour peas on top then finish garnishing with the roasted red peppers on top.
To take this meal over the top, serve with red beans, salad and platanos maduros (ripe plantains).
For more great recipes, visit Angie’s Kitchen Shenanigans at http://angieskitchenshenanigans.com/