Arroz Con Pollo Spanish Chicken and Rice

  pan-seared_Chicken_thighs

Arroz con Pollo Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs and Rice

Arroz con Pollo is Spanish for Rice with Chicken and this flavorful pan-seared chicken and rice dish comes together in one pan, which is perfect for weeknight dinners!  One-pan meals are the best especially when you are the one cleaning the kitchen after dinner!

I was introduced to arroz con pollo while living in Spain as an exchange student in college.  I spent 4 months in Spain and my host family made a version of this dish frequently and it was delicious, so I wanted to recreate mama Esther’s meal.   

There is debate as to where the first Arroz con Pollo originated – some believe it originated in Spain, while others believe it originated in Latin America. Cubans and Puerto Ricans have their versions – and while my version may not be authentic to one particular location it is delicious and kids and adults will love this meal. 

It’s a savory chicken and rice dish full of delicious spices, pan-seared and braised chicken leg pieces, and a sofrito and turmeric seasoned rice. 

It’s possible that saffron is used in Spain to give the rice its yellow color, but since we are keeping this recipe budget-friendly, we are sticking with turmeric to achieve the same effect at a fraction of the cost.

Take advantage of the hot sale on bone-in chicken thighs at Safeway to make this for dinner this week. 

Ingredients in Arroz con Pollo

For the chicken:

  • olive oil
  • Bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Sofrito and Rice

  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 8-oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • cilantro (optional for garnish)
  • lime wedges (optional for garnish)

 

arroz_con_pollo_ingredients

How to Make Arroz con Pollo

Start by seasoning the chicken thighs on both sides with the cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, coriander, salt and pepper.  

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Once the oil is hot, add the chicken thighs, skin side down and cook until browned about 5-10 minutes on each side.

Since we are using bone-in chicken, it takes longer to cook, so cover the skillet and continue cooking the chicken until it reaches 150° F internal temperature when measured by an internal thermometer in the center of the thigh.   Flip the chicken frequently for even cooking throughout.  This could take up to 15 minutes. 

arroz-con-pollo-rice-with-chicken

Remove the chicken to a plate and reserve for later. 

Add the diced red bell pepper, and yellow pepper to the skillet and cook until tender about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and the rice and stir to mix.  Cook for another minute until the garlic is fragrant and the rice slightly toasted. 

Add the spices (oregano, turmeric, cumin) to the pan as well as the tomato sauce and water and stir until well combined. 

Add the chicken thighs and juices back to the pan, cover, and cook over low heat for 20 – 25 minutes.  Check the internal temperature of the chicken in the center of a thigh to ensure it is 165° F.  The rice should be cooked and all the liquid absorbed. 

pan-seared_Chicken_thighs

Arroz Con Pollo

Arroz con Pollo is Spanish for Rice with Chicken and this flavorful pan-seared chicken and rice dish comes together in one pan, which is perfect for weeknight dinners!  One-pan meals are the best especially when you are the one cleaning the kitchen after dinner!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Latin American, Spanish
Keyword: Arroz con Pollo, Spanish Chicken with Rice
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 5 servings
Calories:
Author: Eva Fry

Ingredients

For the Chicken

  • 5- 6 Bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

For the Rice

  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper diced
  • 1/4 cup yellow bell pepper diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 1 jalapeno diced
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 8- oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • cilantro optional for garnish
  • lime wedges optional for garnish

Instructions

  • Start by seasoning the chicken thighs on both sides with cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, coriander, salt and pepper.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Once the oil is hot, add the chicken thighs, skin side down and cook until browned about 5-10 minutes on each side. Do not crowd the chicken, you may need to cook in batches depending on the size of your pan.
  • Since we are using bone-in chicken, it takes a little longer to cook, so cover the skillet and continue cooking the chicken until it reaches 150° F internal temperature when measured by an internal thermometer.  Could be 10-15 minutes.  Flip the chicken frequently for even cooking throughout.
  • Remove the chicken to a plate and reserve for later.
  • Add the diced red bell pepper, and yellow pepper to the skillet and cook until tender about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and the rice and stir to mix.  Cook for another minute until the garlic is fragrant and the rice slightly toasted.
  • Add the spices (oregano, turmeric, cumin) to the pan as well as the tomato sauce and water and stir until well combined.
  • Add the chicken thighs and juices back to the pan, cover, and cook over low heat for 20 - 25 minutes.  Check the internal temperature of the chicken in the center of a thigh to ensure it is 165° F.  The rice should be cooked and all the liquid absorbed.
  • If desired, top with chopped cilantro and serve with lime wedges. Enjoy!

Additional Chicken Recipes

French Onion Chicken

One-Pot Greek Skillet Chicken and Orzo

Grilled BBQ Chicken Flatbread

Sheet Pan Chicken Shawarma Bowls

arroz_con_pollo_Recipe

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