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Chicken with Rice (ARROZ CON POLLO): Submitted by: Debbie Koenig- Words To Eat By blogger | Date Added: 31 Mar 2012
Listed in: Entrees
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Chicken with Rice (ARROZ CON POLLO)

From Debbi Koenig's great new cookbook: Parents Need to Eat Too (William Morrow 2012)
Debbie Koenig is the creator of the blog Words To Eat By

Serves 4
Arroz con pollo means, simply, “chicken with rice.” It’s a traditional dish all over Latin America and much of the Caribbean. This version is—surprise—not particularly authentic. (Heck, it uses brown rice, definitely not what you’ll find in a recipe handed down by abuelita.) But this book isn’t about authenticity, is it? We’re going for healthy, delicious, and doable, and this recipe meets both those requirements and then some.

NOTE: This recipe calls for smoked paprika, which I realize you may not have on hand. If that’s the case, go ahead and use regular sweet paprika. You’ll lose the smoky undertone but it’ll still taste great.

FTLOF Note: this dish is rich in tomatoes, fresh peppers, and onions. I serve it with a side of extra vegetables such as green beans.

1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1⁄2 cup finely chopped red onion (about half a
large red onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced
One 14- to 15-ounce can whole tomatoes,
with juice
5 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
4 bone-in skinless chicken breast halves, each breast cut in half crosswise (to make
8 small pieces)
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided 11⁄2 cups brown rice, rinsed
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas, not thawed

Cooking Instructions

STAGE 1 (10 minutes)
1. Chop peppers, red onion, and garlic. Put peppers in a bowl and set aside.
2. Combine onion and garlic in a blender with the canned tomatoes and puree until very
smooth. Refrigerate the blender jar and its contents.

STAGE 2 (20 minutes; if doing in two sessions combine with Stage 3)
1. Combine 4 teaspoons of the oregano, 1 teaspoon of the salt, 1⁄2 teaspoon of the black pepper, plus the cumin, chile powder, and paprika in a large resealable bag. Add the chicken, seal, and toss to coat. Remove chicken from bag, and pat to remove excess spice mixture.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium-high heat. When oil is almost smoking, arrange chicken pieces in 1 layer and cook each side until browned, 3 to 5 minutes per side (you may need to do this in 2 batches, adding more oil for the second batch).
3. Transfer chicken to a plate, cover, and refrigerate.
4. Add another tablespoon olive oil to the pot. When it shimmers, add the chopped peppers, lower the heat to medium, and cook until softened, 4 to 5 minutes.
5. Allow to cool slightly, then cover pot and refrigerate.

STAGE 3 (55 minutes, 15 active)
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Return pot with cooked peppers to the stove and cook over low heat. Add a glug of oil if peppers look dry.
3. When peppers have warmed, add rice, increase heat to medium, and cook, stirring, until rice colors a bit, 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Add the reserved tomato mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until liquid has been mostly absorbed.
5. Stir in the broth, remaining teaspoon oregano, and salt and pepper to taste, then add the chicken, along with any accumulated juices, and the frozen peas. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil.
6. Cover, and transfer pot to the oven. Bake until chicken is cooked through, rice is tender, and liquid has been absorbed, 35 to 40 minutes.
MAKE BABY FOOD: This recipe has several spices, but none of them are hot- spicy (even that ancho chile powder is pretty mild). It should be fine for most babies, either pureed with a bit of broth or water, or as finger food.

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