Easy Arroz con Pollo made with chicken thighs, long-grain white rice, Mexican seasonings and green peas! This classic chicken and rice dish is a family favorite that you’ll make over and over for years to come.
Arroz con Pollo (or chicken and rice) is the ultimate one-pot dinner that’s perfect to make any night of the week. It’s one of those Latin American dishes that everyone and their mom has their own version of. And I can’t blame them!
Chicken and rice is just the perfect classic combo that once you learn how to make it, it’ll be in your family for generations.
This version is my own Mexican take on the dish. The rice is similar to my Mom’s Authentic Mexican Rice and the seasoning on the chicken includes some Mexican favorites likes chili powder, ground cumin and dried oregano.
How to Make Arroz con Pollo
To infuse as much flavor as possible into the chicken, start by marinating it for at least 30 minutes in a mixture of olive oil, white wine vinegar, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, ground coriander, salt, dried oregano and ground cumin.
Next, brown the chicken on both sides until the skin crisps up and is golden brown.
In the same pan with all the same oil used to cook the chicken, saute some diced onions and bell peppers until softened.
Then add some garlic, salt and rice and cook for 1 more minute to really infuse that garlic flavor into the veggies and rice. I use long-grain white rice, but you could also use basmati rice.
Next, add in some tomato paste, water and a touch more salt. Mix it all up until the tomato paste has completely dissolved. The water should have a red tint to it.
Last but not least, add in the browned chicken thighs (see substitutions below) and bring the water to a boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes.
To add a bit of color and veggies to the mix, I like to add in 1 cup of frozen peas and then fluff them into the rice using a fork. Not only does it look beautiful, but it provides a nice fresh contrast of veggie-liciousness to the savory chicken and rice.
If you (or your children) don’t like peas, feel free to leave them out.
That’s it! The juices and marinade from the chicken cook together with the rice and infuses the whole pot with so much flavor, it’s addicting.
To add a bit more color and some bright citrus notes, I like garnishing the final dish with some chopped cilantro and limes wedges.
Recipe Tips and Variations
- Don’t have white wine vinegar for the chicken marinade? You can use the juice of 1 lime instead.
- You can use any cut of chicken that you want – drumsticks, breasts, wings, thighs, whatever you have!
- I love the flavor of arroz con pollo when the skin is left on the chicken, but you can lighten it up by using boneless skinless thighs if you prefer.
- If you love spicy food, you can use serrano peppers or jalapenos peppers instead of green bell peppers.