Skip to main content

Arroz con pollo?! Arroz con pollo!

Arroz Con Pollo

Rich and savory Arroz Con Pollo with delicious tomato flavor, juicy chicken, tender rice, lots of herbs and spices, plenty of lime juice, and a handful of jalapeño-stuffed green olives. Bright and spicy and comforting!

It’s a staple for many, but it’s new to me as of this fall, and it has immediately become a chilly-weather favorite that has me excitedly hauling out the big heavy Dutch oven every Sunday afternoon. I am hooked.

Rich and savory with tomato flavor, juicy chicken, tender rice, lots of herbs and spices, plenty of lime juice, and (at least in my kitchen) a handful of jalapeño-stuffed green olives – it is a complete 180 from the mild and creamy chicken and rice that I grew up with, and it is wonderful in its ability be both comforting and also spicy and bright all in one complex bite.

I think I made it three times in three back-to-back weeks, so yes, it is forsurely on the recipes-that-need-to-be-made-more-than-once list.

Watch How To Make Arroz Con Pollo :

We loved this recipe – the whole fam, including toddler (although I left the spicy olives out for her portion) – and I really don’t think there could be any happier mealtime moment than the one where you open the lid on this steaming pot of comfort food as you settle in around the table on a fall or winter evening.

Common Questions About Arroz Con Pollo

Do I need to soak my rice?

The Saveur cookbook version I was inspired from has you soaking the rice for an hour before starting – but I always skipped this step and still loved the end results! The Saveur version also included annatto, corn, and capers. I skipped all of those in this version just due to personal preference.

Can I freeze leftovers?

I tried freezing this (after cooking) and thawed it overnight in the fridge. It was good, but a little dry. If you do this I would recommend adding some liquid to bring it all back to life again.

Is there a substitute for olives?

Sure! You could try capers instead of olives here.


  • 2–3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (divided)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, ribs and seeds removed, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 12-ounce bottle light beer
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice
  • 1 12-ounce jar green olives (I LOVE jalapeño stuffed green olives for this!)
  • a handful of chopped fresh cilantro
  • a few squeezes of lime juice


  1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven. Add the chicken, season with 1 teaspoon of salt, and cook for 8-10 minutes, flipping once, until cooked through. Remove from the pan. When cooled, roughly chop or shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Turn the heat down on the pan. Add the garlic, shallot, jalapeño, and pepper to the same pan. Sauté until soft and fragrant, scraping the browned bits off the bottom, being careful not to burn the garlic
  3. Add the tomato paste, spices, thyme, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt; sauté for 2-3 minutes, until deep red.
  4. Preheat the oven 350 degrees. Add beer; simmer and let it reduce for a few minutes. Add canned tomatoes, broth, and bay leaf; bring to a low simmer.
  5. Stir in chicken and rice; bring to a low simmer. Cover with a lid and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove lid and fluff with a fork. Stir in olives, cilantro, and lime juice. Season to taste and ENJOY your masterpiece!

Leave a Reply