Arroz Con Pollo Recipe

Arroz con pollo, which means rice with chicken, is a dish that is eaten in many Spanish speaking countries. When it originated in Spain, this dish was somewhat exotic, featuring rice from India, saffron from Asia and tomatoes from the Americas.

In Latin America, it is particularly popular and the recipes vary by region. Anato oil or achiote , rather than saffron, is often used to give the rice its yellow color.

My son Spencer visited Costa Rica last summer. He and his group were invited to the home of a local “Tico” and they learned how to cook chicken with rice Costa Rican style.

Typically this recipe is cooked in a “caldero” which is a cast iron cooking pot, with a lid, similar to a Dutch oven. If you do not have a caldero, use a heavy pasta pot with a lid.

Click here for my favorite Mexican cookbook. Be sure to try the enchilada verdes.

Costa Rican Recipe

  • 1 Chicken approx. 2 lbs , cut into quarters
  • 3 Tbs Olive oil
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 2 cups of rice, Valencia or long grain
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup sweet peas
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 oz fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Annato (available in latin American markets)*
  • 2 tablespoons Lizano sauce (available in Latin American markets)*

  • Dip the individual pieces of chicken in flour. Salt and pepper each piece. Brown the chicken in the 2 Tbs of oil. Remove the chicken.

    Brown the rice in the same pan, and add remaining oil. Add in the onion and garlic and cook until onions are soft (approx 4 minutes) .

    Separately mix up the chicken stock, tomatoes, peppers, Anato and Lizano sauce. Place the chicken on top of the rice and onion mixture and pour the sauce mixture on top. Cover and bring to a simmer until done, approximately 25 minutes. Add the peas at the end. Top with fresh parsley prior to serving.

    * If you cannot find the Anato and lizano, not a problem. It will be less authentic but still delicious. In that case add 1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste and a pinch of oregano. You can also add a pinch of saffron, as is done in Spain.

    Cooking With Children

    Children love this dish and can help mix up the sauce, while you do all the cooking at the stove.

    Spanish Vocabulary List

    Chicken El pollo
    Rice El arroz
    Flour La harina
    Olive oil El aceite de oliva
    Onion La cebolla
    Garlic El ajo
    Salt La sal
    Pepper La pimienta
    Chicken broth El caldo de pollo
    Red pepper El pimiento rojo
    Parsley. El perejil
    I like arroz con pollo. Me gusta el arroz con pollo.
    To cook Cocinar
    I cook Cocino

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