Classic Arroz Con Pollo Recipe

Arroz con pollo is a classic dish that has been around for years. According to eHow, the people of Spain were the first to make what we now know as arroz con pollo, though it's also served in the Caribbean and Latin America. Believe it or not, the classic recipe dates back to the eighth century, and the Moors made it as a dish to pass around and serve family-style. Today, people all over the world enjoy arroz con pollo, but we can thank Spain for putting it on our radar. This dish is basically a one-pot recipe that's incredibly easy to make, and it also happens to be incredibly flavorful.

Recipe developer Catherine Brookes came up with her own version of the recipe, and it's perfect for a family dinner. "Skin-on chicken thighs are always so flavorful and tender, and cooking everything together in one pan makes this wholesome dish so simple!" Brookes raves. "This classic version uses mostly simple store-cupboard ingredients that everyone will love. It's a great crowd-pleasing dish!" 

Gather the ingredients for this classic arroz con pollo

Once you are ready to begin, you will need to grab all of the necessary ingredients to make this wonderful arroz con pollo. Be sure to get bone-in chicken thighs, oregano, cumin, paprika, salt, olive oil, onion, red pepper, garlic cloves, a can of chopped tomatoes, white rice, chicken stock, olives, and olive juice. "Chicken thighs have a higher fat content than chicken breasts, giving them a rich flavor and texture," Brookes notes, on why thighs are better than breasts for this recipe. 

Mix the spices and rub them on the chicken

Grab a bowl that's big enough to hold your spices. Toss in the oregano, paprika, cumin, and salt, and stir to combine.

Take out your chicken thighs and use a paper towel to pat away the excess moisture. Now, you can rub the spice mixture all over the chicken to add flavor. "The spices are a nice balance of smoky and herby, without too much heat," Brookes shares. 

Fry the chicken

Place a large, high-sided pan on your stove and drizzle in your olive oil. Turn the heat to medium-high and toss in your pre-spiced chicken thighs. Fry the chicken for a few minutes on each side, until the thighs achieve a nice, golden-brown color.

Remove the chicken thighs from the pan and set them to the side. Be sure to keep the juices from the chicken in the pan since they'll help add flavor to the other ingredients. 

Cook the onion, peppers, garlic, and rice

Now, it's time to add the onion and pepper to the same pan that you cooked the chicken in. Cook the veggies for about 8-10 minutes, until they begin to soften. Remember, you already have the chicken juices in the pan, which will help add flavor to your veggies.

Next, add the garlic to the mix and cook for another minute. After that, you can toss in the rice and cook for about 2-3, until it's lightly toasted.

Add in the liquids to make the sauce

There are still a few more ingredients you need to add to the mix. Pour in the chicken stock, chopped tomatoes, rice, olives, and olive juice. Stir to combine with the other ingredients in the pan, then crank the heat up to bring the mixture to a boil.

Once you see bubbles reach the top of the surface, add the chicken thighs back to the pan and cover the pan with a lid. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the mixture cook for 30 minutes. "The chicken should be done cooking after the 30 minutes as long as the pan is covered, but to check it, simply cut into a thigh and check that the center is no longer pink," Brookes suggests. 

Serve and enjoy

Once the 30 minutes have passed, the rice should be cooked, and most of the liquid should be absorbed. Season the dish to taste, then plate and serve. This is great on its own, but if you'd like to add something else, Brookes suggests serving it "with a fresh, leafy salad." 

Be sure to save the leftovers for another meal! "Leftovers will keep until the next day, and you can reheat in the microwave," Brookes says. We hope you enjoy this classic and flavorful dish! 

Classic Arroz Con Pollo Recipe
5 from 39 ratings
Chicken and rice is a classic dish in almost every culture, but this easy recipe for arroz con pollo has its roots in Spanish and Latin American history.
Prep Time
Cook Time
pan of arroz con pollo
Total time: 1 hour
  • 2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 14.1-ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 2 ½ cups chicken stock
  • ¾ cup olives
  • ¼ cup olive juice from jar
Optional Ingredients
  • parsley, chopped
  1. In a small bowl, mix together the oregano, paprika, cumin, and salt.
  2. Pat the chicken thighs dry, then rub them all over with the spice mixture.
  3. Add the olive oil to a large, high-sided pan and turn the heat to medium-high. Fry the chicken for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside, keeping the juices from the chicken in the pan.
  4. Add the onion and pepper, and fry them until softened — about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for another minute.
  5. Add the rice, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until lightly toasted.
  6. Add the chicken stock, chopped tomatoes, olives, and olive juice. Stir well to combine, and bring to a boil.
  7. Place the chicken back into the pan, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Leave to cook for 30 minutes.
  8. After 30 minutes, the liquid should have absorbed and the rice should be cooked. Season to taste, and serve with fresh chopped parsley, if desired.
Calories per Serving 681
Total Fat 31.7 g
Saturated Fat 7.9 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 151.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 63.6 g
Dietary Fiber 3.0 g
Total Sugars 5.1 g
Sodium 704.2 mg
Protein 33.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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