Dining In: Arroz Con Pollo

January 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

(note, I am writing this on my iPad while hurtling through the pitch black sky on my way to NYC so I’m dispensing with my usual anecdotal blather)

“Arroz con pollo.”

Just kinda rolls off your tongue, doesn’t it? The rolling R, the double L that magically becomes a Y…it just sounds fun, right?

Took a crack at making it yesterday as an accompaniment to watching the New York Football Giants dethrone the Packers. I grabbed a pretty simple recipe from Three Guys From Miami (who I’ve leaned on a couple times in the past) and went to town. Resulting dish had great flavor although was a touch saltier than I would have liked. Printed below, with my modifications in parentheses:


Arroz Con Pollo – Chicken with Rice

By Three Guys From Miami

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

Arroz con pollo is enjoyed by many Latin cultures. The Cuban version is highly spiced – but NOT spicy hot. It’s a favorite Cuban Sunday lunch dish,


4 strips bacon
8 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
To taste salt, pepper, and cumin for chicken
1/2 cup olive oil for frying
1 large onion, chopped
5 cachucha peppers, chopped (Substitute 1 large green or red pepper – we used one green and one yellow)
4 cloves garlic, mashed
1 12-ounce bottle beer
3 and 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon Bijol Powder (eliminated, we used yellow rice which eliminated the need)
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons cumin, ground (replaced the cumin and the oregano with 1 T of Goya Adobo powder)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 1/2 cups parboiled rice
1/2 cup frozen green baby peas (eliminated because I forgot)

Sauté the bacon in a large frying pan. Reduce heat to low and let the fat render out of the bacon – about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, season the chicken lightly with salt, pepper and a little cumin. Once the fat is released, remove the bacon, increase temperature to medium-high and add the chicken to the hot bacon fat. Remove the chicken when it is browned on both sides.

Add a little olive oil to the same pan you fried the chicken in, and sauté the onion and green pepper until the onion is translucent. Add the mashed garlic and cook an additional minute or two, stirring frequently.

Take the chicken broth and beer and pour into a large covered pot. Add the browned chicken pieces, cooked onions and green pepper, tomato sauce, Bijol, bay leaf, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper. And hey, why let all that delicious bacon go to waste? Chop it up and toss it in! Bring everything to a rolling boil, reduce heat, cover and cook on low for 15 minutes.

Add the rice. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. When the rice has absorbed some of the liquid, cover and simmer on low for about 30-45 minutes, or until the rice is fully cooked and not soupy. Add the frozen peas during the last five minutes of cooking only.

For a dinner, serve the whole chicken pieces with the rice. For a party, you may remove the chicken, skin, de-bone and break it into bite-size chunks. However, DO NOT try to substitute any boneless, skinless chicken in this recipe – unless you enjoy serving a disaster!


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