Arroz con pollo is a traditional dish from Spain and Latin America, closely related to paella. In the Dominican Republic, it is called alternatively locrio de pollo, and in Saint-Martin, it is called lokri or locreo. There is a debate as to whether he is from Spain or Puerto Rico, as does Dominican Republic and Cuba.
This recipe is not really a Arroz con Pollo Peruano per se, even though, I got this recipe from my Peruvian grandfather. It was just his way of making it, which makes a lot of sense given his culinary tastes. It’s a cross between paella and arroz con pollo. It’s a bit more wet then other arroz con pollos. And it’s the way I prefer it, too.
ARROZ CON POLLO
- 4 bone-in chicken thighs, (skin on)
- 2 bone-in drumsticks, (skin on)
- Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil , (I like to use avocado oil)
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, peeled and minced
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 3 roma tomatoes, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground smoked paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon saffron
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 cups medium grain rice , (see below for more options)
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup pitted green olives
- 1/3 cup frozen peas
- This recipe is quite flexible. You can use different types of rice: long-grain rice, medium-grain rice (my personal favorite) and short-grain rice. You may need to add more or less broth/liquid depending on the type.
- Chicken cuts. You can use all bone-in chicken thighs or all bone-in drumsticks. I find they’re the best when braised/cooked for a longer period of time, hence why I recommend them.
- If you don’t have saffron, you can of course, skip it. It adds a bit of extra but it’s not totally necessary.
- In case you don’t have access to roma tomatoes, you can use 1 whole canned tomato (no sauce is necessary).
- Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt
- In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add chicken, skin side down, until browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Flip the chicken, using tongs, and cook on opposite side until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to plate and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium, add onion and red bell pepper, and cook until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add garlic to the top of the onions and cook until fragrant; 2 minutes or so. Add the tomato and scrape the bottom of the pot removing any of the chicken fat pieces (hello! flavor!!). Next, add spices: cumin, paprika, turmeric, saffron, crushed red pepper and 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt and mix.
- Pour in rice and give it a good mix, coating it with the tomato mixture. Cook for about a minute or so. Place chicken atop of rice mixture, and disperse the olives all around atop the rice.
- Pour just enough chicken stock to cover the rice, about 3 1/2 cups. Bring the pot to a simmer and then reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, for about 30 to 34 minutes, and until rice is tender.
- Note: Throughout the cooking process, I checked on it every 15 minutes or so and topped it off with about 1/4 cup of stock each time. In the end, I added 4 cups of chicken stock total. Also, in the last 15 minutes, I salted to taste, adding about 1/4 teaspoon more salt.
- When it's ready, turn the heat off. Sprinkle the peas on top and cover with a lid for 2 minutes. Just until the peas are thawed and bright green. Serve immediately.
- Leftovers: This stays good in the fridge for up to 3 days. It's great reheated in the microwave. You may need to add a splash of water to it to loosen it up right before the microwave!
TIP :You might have other questions like: what to serve with arroz con pollo? Let me tell you, you don’t need much–it’s nearly a complete meal. But I like to serve a nice crisp salad with it. Let's Talk About Other Rice Options:
- Long-grain: you can absolutely use long-grain rice for this recipe. You may need to add more water so I would just watch it throughout the process.
- Arborio: believe it or not, rice for risotto works for this dish--it's delicious. So if you have it, no biggie, use it!