International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Arroz con Pollo

Arroz con pollo Puerto Rican chicken and rice

(Latin chicken with rice)

Average: 3.7 (106 votes)

Arroz con pollo, or "rice with chicken," originated in the Andalusia region of Spain. It shares similarities with several West African dishes such as jollof rice, and may in fact have origins there.

The Spanish version as was introduced to the New World colonies, and arroz con pollo is very popular in the Caribbean, especially in Cuba and Puerto Rico. Peruvians also enjoy a similar dish — arroz con pato — that substitutes duck for the chicken.

4 to 6 servings


  • Chicken, cut into serving pieces -- 2 1/2 to 3 pounds
  • Lemon or lime, juice only -- 1
  • Garlic, minced -- 3 to 5 cloves
  • Salt and pepper -- to season
  • Olive oil -- 3 tablespoons
  • Onion, chopped -- 1
  • Green or red bell pepper, chopped --1
  • Garlic, minced -- 3 to 5 cloves
  • Ham (optional), chopped -- 1 cup
  • Rice -- 3 cups
  • Tomato, seeded and chopped -- 1 cup
  • Chicken stock or water -- 3 1/2 cups
  • Green olives -- 10 to 15
  • Peas -- 1 cup
  • Oregano -- 2 teaspoons
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste
  • Cilantro chopped -- 1/2 bunch


  1. In a large bowl, toss the chicken pieces with the lemon or lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper and marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium flame. Pat the chicken pieces dry and saute them in small batches to brown on all sides. Remove to a platter and set aside.
  3. Add a little more oil to the pot if needed and saute the onion, peppers, garlic and optional ham until the onion is translucent but not browned.
  4. Stir in the rice and tomatoes and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes. Then add the stock or water, olives, peas, oregano, salt and pepper. Lay the browned chicken pieces over the top. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover tightly and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, 10 minutes. Toss all the ingredients gently with a fork, garnish with the chopped cilantro and serve.

Arroz con Pollo Variations

  • Optional Additions: When sauteing the onions, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of paprika. When adding the stock or water, stir in 1/2 cup pimentos, 1 tablespoon of capers or a pinch of saffron.
  • Use a short-grain rice, like Valencia or Arborio, if you can find it.
  • Substitute a little beer or white wine for some of the stock or water if you like.
  • Use achiote oil instead of olive oil for a more authentically Caribbean dish. This gives the dish a yellowish hue.


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