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Arroz Con Pollo

This one-pot Arroz Con Pollo recipe features tender chicken cooked with veggies and fluffy Mexican rice. A bit of chorizo and a homemade spice blend adds incredible flavor!

Arroz con pollo is a classic Mexican recipe that brings me back to my childhood. It’s filling, it’s easy, it’s made in one pot, and for all those reasons my Mexican grandmother often made it for lunch. Especially when all the grandkids were over, there was just too much chaos for her to do anything more complicated.

If you haven’t tried arroz con pollo before, give this recipe a try. “Arroz con pollo” means “chicken and rice” in Spanish and there are two things that make this version stand out: chorizo and a homemade spice blend.

The chorizo adds a bit of fat and a ton of flavor to the finished dish. When you’re eating this chicken and rice and get a bit of chorizo in a bite it’s a real treat!

As for the spice blend, it comes together in seconds and is used to season the chicken pieces before they are briefly browned in the pot. Definitely don’t skip this step, though if you want to “cheat” you can use storebought taco seasoning instead. 🙂

Why You’ll Love this Arroz Con Pollo Recipe

There are so many reasons to love this easy Mexican recipe! Here are the top ones:

  • Easy. This is one of those recipes that you’ll eventually know by heart. Especially if you keep a jar of spice blend on the counter or use pre-made seasoning, making this dish is a cinch.
  • One Pot. The chicken is browned in the same pot that everything else is cooked in. Huzzah for less dishes to wash!
  • Filling. Between the rice, the veggies, and the chicken, this recipe is a meal in itself. No need to cook anything else on the side.
  • Flavorful. Instead of adding plain chicken to the rice as most recipes do, the chicken gets lots of flavor from a spice blend made from smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, and more.
Close up of chicken thighs and legs as part of arroz con pollo

Ingredient Notes

Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need to make arroz con pollo. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.

  • For the spice blend: Garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, and cayenne pepper.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive Oil: You can also use vegetable oil or avocado oil.
  • Chicken pieces: I prefer skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks. You can also use boneless and skinless if you prefer.
  • Chorizo: Storebought or homemade chorizo.
  • White Rice
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Broth: You can use chicken, vegetable, or beef broth.
  • Tomato sauce: You can also use an equal amount of salsa if you want to add even more spice to this dish. Use restaurant-style salsa, not chunky salsa.
  • Jalapeño: Fresh, not canned.
  • Bell pepper: Red or yellow.
  • Yellow onion: White onion works too.
  • Carrot: Regular-sized or baby.
  • Cilantro: Fresh, for garnish.

Want to Skip the Homemade Chicken Spice Rub?

The spice rub only takes a few moments to make, but if you want to skip that step you can also use your favorite store-bought taco seasoning blend to season the chicken.

Or you can double or triple the seasoning blend mix, place it in a small mason jar with a lid, and then only use some of it to season your chicken. That way the next time you make this recipe the seasoning mix will be ready to go.

Important note: Do not save extra seasoning blend once it has come into contact with the raw chicken. You have to throw away extra seasoning mix once you’ve used it.

A serving of Mexican chicken and rice on a white plate

Tips for the Best Arroz Con Pollo

  • Season the chicken. Don’t skip this step, it adds a ton of flavor to the finished dish.
  • Make the seasoning in advance. As mentioned above, you can double or triple the spice rub and store it in a lidded mason jar on the counter. A tupperware with a lid also works.
  • Brown the chicken. Also don’t skip this step. The chicken just needs to be quickly seared on each side to make the flesh crisp and flavorful.
  • Use a large, deep skillet or a pot. This recipe makes a generous amount of food so make sure your skillet or pot is large enough. When I make this recipe for myself I will get an entire workweek of lunches out of it.
  • Let the arroz con pollo rest. It is important to let this dish rest off the heat for 10 minutes once it has finished cooking. This allows the rice and chicken to absorb any excess liquid.

Want to Bake This Dish?

If you want to make this recipe in the oven, follow the directions through adding the chicken to the rice. Then spoon everything into a baking dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake it for 30-40 minutes at 350F or until the rice is nice and fluffy.

Serving Suggestions

Arroz con pollo doesn’t really need to be served with anything else – it’s a meal on its own! But if you like you can serve it with warm corn or flour tortillas. I like to roll a warm tortilla around some cheese and then bite into it between spoonfuls of rice.

You can also add toppings to your chicken and rice, such as a drizzle of crema, pico de gallo salsa, or salsa macha.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

  • Fridge: Let extras cool, then transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Freezer: Once your chicken and rice has cooled, transfer it to an airtight, freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge when you’re ready to eat it.
  • Reheat: Spoon your desired amount into a microwave-safe bowl and reheat until warmed through. I recommend zapping single-servings only and then pausing halfway through the time to give everything a good stir. For the amount I eat in a serving, the reheat time is usually 1 minute 45 seconds.

More Easy Chicken Recipes to Try

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Arroz Con Pollo

Close up of chicken thighs and legs as part of arroz con pollo
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This one-pot Arroz Con Pollo recipe features tender chicken cooked with fluffy Mexican rice and veggies. A bit of chorizo and a homemade spice blend adds incredible flavor!

  • Author: Rustic Family Recipes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4-5 servings
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Ingredients

For the Chicken Spice Rub

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the Chicken and Rice

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 chicken thighs or drumsticks, bone-in and skin on
  • 3/4 cups chorizo, cut into 1/4” slices
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1/4 jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups rice, uncooked
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnishing
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

Make the spice rub and season the chicken. In a small bowl, mix the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and cayenne until well combined. Sprinkle the mixture generously over the chicken on all sides. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Brown the chicken. Add the oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add the chicken thighs and cook them for 5-7 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove the chicken from the pot and transfer it to a plate.

Cook the chorizo. Place the chorizo in the same pot and let it cook for 5-6 minutes or until it releases its fat.

Cook the veggies. Add the onions and carrots. Let them cook for 5-7 minutes or until the onion softens. Add the garlic, jalapeño, and red bell pepper. Cook for an additional minute, stirring frequently.

Add the rice. Pour the rice into the pot and stir to combine with the other ingredients.

Add tomato sauce and broth. Stir well. Increase the medium and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low.

Add the chicken and simmer. Cover it with a lid and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is cooked through. Remove it from the heat.

Serve. Set it aside and let it cool for 10 minutes. Serve it warm and garnish with cilantro to taste. Enjoy.

Keywords: chicken and rice, arroz con pollo, arroz rojo

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