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One-Pot Arroz con Pollo Will Feed the Whole Family
2024/04/17

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The epitome of home-cooked , arroz con pollo is a beloved dish in Latin America, Spain, and far beyond. The Spanish name directly translates to "rice with chicken" in English, but this dish is so much more. In addition to rice and chicken, the braised has layers of flavor, from an aromatic vegetable puree known as sofrito to convenient and flavor-packed adobo and . A rich and hearty like this pairs perfectly with refreshing or crunchy !

What does arroz con pollo contain?

Beginning with the arroz, this dish is usually made with medium-grain white rice. This makes for a that is moist and tender, with a slight chew.

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As far as the pollo, some recipes require the cook to break down a whole chicken while others call for boneless, skinless chicken thighs. This recipe uses bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks because they braise beautifully. In fact, all of the goodness from the bones and fatty skin flavors the rice in a way that boneless cuts simply cannot! 

For the seasoning, a fragrant and flavorful sofrito not only makes the kitchen smell magical, it also is super easy to blitz up in a blender. The sofrito contains onion, green bell pepper, jalapeño, lots of garlic, and cilantro. Adobo and sazón seasonings perfume and further color arroz con pollo; you can find them among the spices or in the Latin food section of the grocery store.

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Whether you choose to toss in green peas, olives, pigeon peas, or more bell pepper, arroz con pollo wouldn’t be complete without some vegetables!

Can arroz con pollo be made ahead of time?

Much like your favorite or , a richly flavored dish like arroz con pollo tastes even better the next day. This dish is perfect for large gatherings since it can be made all the way through, cooled completely, and refrigerated for up to 5 days. The best way to reheat a large amount of arroz con pollo is in the oven. Place it in an oven-safe dish and cover it with foil or a tight-fitting lid. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until heated through, 35 to 45 minutes.

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This meal is also freezer-friendly! Allow the arroz con pollo to cool completely before packing it up in a freezer bag or air-tight container. It can be frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost the arroz con pollo overnight in the refrigerator and gently reheat in the oven using the same instructions as for the refrigerated dish. 

1/2 c.

roughly chopped cilantro, plus more for serving

6

garlic cloves

1

green bell pepper, roughly chopped

1

jalapeño, seeded and roughly chopped

1

white onion, chopped and divided

4

bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

4

chicken drumsticks

1 tbsp.

adobo seasoning 

1 tbsp.

olive oil

1

red bell pepper, chopped

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2

packets Sazón with saffron 

1/2 tsp.

kosher salt, plus more to taste

1/4 tsp.

ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1 3/4 c.

chicken broth

1

(8-oz.) can tomato sauce

1 1/2 c.

medium-grain white rice

1

bay leaf

1/2 c.

pimento-stuffed green olives (optional)

1 c.

frozen green peas

Lime wedges, for serving

Step  1 To a food processor or blender, add the cilantro, garlic, green bell pepper, jalapeño, and half of the onion. Pulse until a thick puree forms. This is the sofrito.  Step  2 Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Sprinkle all over with the adobo seasoning. Step  3 In a wide braiser or large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat.

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When the oil is shimmering, add half of the chicken, skin-side down. Sear until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Remove the chicken to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken. Do not clean the braiser. Step  4 To the same braiser, reduce the heat to medium and add the red bell pepper and remaining half of the white onion. Sauté until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sofrito, Sazón, salt, and black pepper, stirring until fragrant and most of the liquid is cooked down, 5 to 7 minutes. Step  5 Stir in the broth and tomato sauce, and bring to a simmer. Stir in the rice, bay leaf, and olives, if you like.

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Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, nestle in the chicken and any accumulated juices, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Step  6 Remove the chicken to a serving plate and stir the peas into the rice. Serve the chicken with the rice, topped with cilantro and a squeeze of lime.
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