When my husband and I were in Miami last year celebrating our anniversary we ate at Jean-Geroges’ The Matador where I ordered Arroz Con Pollo. I have been thinking about this dish ever since. I’ve finally made my version at home and am so excited to share it with you.
Every culture has their own version of a chicken and rice dish. Here in the Midwest we love our chicken and wild rice casserole. They’ve got chicken and risotto in Italy, Chicken Adobo in the Philippines, Tikka Masla in India, to name a few. But I’m telling you–this Latin American dish Arroz Con Pollo (pronounced ah-raws kawn paw-yaw) was so completely addicting my eyes were rolling in the back of my head after every bite. I know, I know, it’s just chicken and rice but a few things come into play here. The secret spice packet–Sazón which I have not used until now. It’s essentially a packet of coriander, garlic, cumin, paprika, and annatto. It instantly makes your dish more delicious. The cooking method also allows the rice to get crispy on the bottom by the end of cooking so every bit has texture. They call this pegao. The dollop of lime yogurt cools everything off— and who doesn’t like a bottle of hot sauce next to them when they eat?
This is a perfect weeknight dinner or even a great weekend dinner with friends.
My New Favorite Chicken and Rice—Arroz Con Pollo
- 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 Tbls. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 plum tomatoes, halved, seeded, and chopped
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup medium-grained rice
- 1 small packet Sazón seasoning (I used Goya brand)
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 1 tsp. Crystal hot sauce
- 2 Tbls. parsley, minced
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 Tbls. lime juice
- Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large cast iron pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken thighs, turning once, until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Next, add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, tomatoes, cayenne, and bay leaves and cook, stirring, until the onion begins to brown, 5-7 minutes.
- Add the rice and Sazón, and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock, season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and place the chicken thighs skin side up in the rice. Cook, partially covered, until the rice has absorbed the liquid and the chicken is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaves, sprinkle in peas and parsley over the rice, and gently stir to incorporate allowing peas to heat. Serve directly from the pan, with the yogurt and the bottle of hot sauce on the side.
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