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Arroz con Pollo - Spanish style

Serves 4-6 Prep time 10 mins Cooking time 45 mins

I was born in Los Angeles, but from ages 8-15 I lived in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Malaga. Growing up in southern Spain was a dream; the beautiful beaches, amazing architecture, wonderful people and of course THE FOOD... I absolutely loved it and hope to be able to move back one day.

One of my favorite Spanish dishes is Arroz con Pollo; it's a super flavorful chicken and rice dish with Saffron that resembles the taste of paella. My Spanish grandma used to make this recipe for us when I was a little girl and my sister and I loved it so much, my dad learned to make it for us. This was one of the first recipes I learned how to make on my own when I was about 12 years old, so it holds a special place in my heart.


6-8 chicken thighs

1 white onion

1 bell pepper (any color)

1 tomato

3 cloves of garlic

2 cups of Paella rice (arroz bomba)

1 cup of white or red wine (or a light beer, if you don't have wine)

Large pinch of dried saffron threads + chicken seasoning (or

2 packets of sazon with saffron)

Garlic Salt

2 bay leaves

Parsley (fresh if possible)

Salt & Pepper

Olive Oil

Chicken broth (or water, you will just need more seasoning)


1. First, season the chicken with garlic salt + brown both sides in a dutch oven with

a few tablespoons of olive oil. Remove from the pan and set aside.

2. In the same dutch oven, make the refrito:

  • Finely chop the onion, bell pepper, tomato and garlic cloves.

  • Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add in the chopped onion. Cook for 2-3 mins or until they start to become soft and translucent. Next, add the bell pepper and cook for another few mins.

  • Add the tomato and garlic last and let simmer for a few mins until all components are cooked thoroughly.

3. Add garlic salt & chopped parsley.

4. Add 1 cup of white wine or a light beer the chicken back in.

5. Add the bay leaves + about 2 tablespoons of chicken seasoning (cubito de pollo) and a few pinches of Saffron or 2 packets of sazon with saffron seasoning. Mix thoroughly and let cook on medium heat for a 5 mins.

6. In a separate pot, warm 3 cups of chicken broth and set aside.

7. Back in the dutch oven, add in 2 cups of rice and 3 cups of the hot chicken broth. Add in a salt to taste if needed. Cook on high until the broth boils & cover.

8. The traditional way to cook the arroz con pollo is by adding a little bit of the hot broth at a time, just like you make a paella; but that part is hard to describe in a recipe and the ability to cook the rice that way comes with practice. Instead, I tested a few other options and found a few easier ways. I’ve tried both ways and it comes out equally as delicious!

  • You can either let it cook on low on the stove for 30 mins or

  • Put in the oven at 350F for 30 mins

Note: After the you remove the dutch oven from either the stove or oven, let sit covered for about 10 mins before serving.


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