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Arroz con Pollo after cooking

I've been devouring this Arroz con Pollo lately and was wondering if you've tried it yet?! It's a keeper and has become one of the most popular recipes on the site. Please give it a try!

You really can't beat Arroz con Pollo as a one-stop dinner: with minimal fuss you get a savory meal that is far superior to local takeout options.

There's something so satisfying about throwing everything into a pan and letting the heat of the stove do all the heavy lifting. All while you relax on the couch 🙂

I take an extra step in this recipe by brining the chicken, but keep in mind that you can always skip that step for an even quicker, couch-friendly version.

Rice with chicken after cookingRice with chicken after cooking

How to Make Arroz Con Pollo – Mexican Chicken and Rice

A quick swim in salt water can do wonders for chicken and I've been brining chicken almost every time I cook it lately. Brine it will help keep it moist while cooking and, more importantly, it will make it taste better!

For this recipe I had to brine 5 bone-in chicken thighs in 2 quarts of cold water with 1/2 cup of dissolved kosher salt.

salt the chicken before cooking it salt the chicken before cooking it

Cover them and let them rest in the fridge for 30-60 minutes. It doesn't really matter how long you keep them in brine: I usually play them by ear and take them when I get hungry 🙂

Keep in mind that you can use virtually any cut of chicken for this recipe, you can even use boneless breast if that's what you have on hand.

While the chicken is brining, I usually pop the tomatoes in the oven to roast them. This will sweeten them a bit before blending them into the sauce.

Sopa Tarasca is one of Mexico's most popular soups: a deliciously filling pinto bean soup that will keep you coming back for more.  So good!  mexicanplease.comSopa Tarasca is one of the most popular soups in Mexico, a delicious pinto bean soup that will have you coming back for more. Really good! mexicanplease.com

When you feel hungry, remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry.

Preheat a deep skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat and add a large drizzle of oil, 2-3 tablespoons.

Brown the chicken thighs before cooking the arroz con polloBrown the chicken thighs before cooking the arroz con pollo

Brown the chicken on both sides: I usually brown it skin side down first.

Don't try to make the skin super crispy because it has absorbed some of the brine and won't crisp easily – in the photo above it took about 5-6 minutes to get a light crispiness on the thighs.

While the chicken is browning, you can prepare the tomato and jalapeno mixture. Add the following ingredients to a blender:

roasted tomatoes
1/2 small onion
1 jalapeno
2 cloves of garlic

Add ingredients to blender for tomato and jalapeno mixtureAdd ingredients to blender for tomato and jalapeno mixture

Try it and feel free to add more jalapeno if you want your Arroz con Pollo to be spicy. I like this dish best when the heat is light, and a single jalapeno seems to do it pretty well.

Once the chicken is browned, you can remove the thighs from the pan and set them aside.

Add 2 cups of rice to the same pan and let it cook on medium heat.

Cook rice in chicken sauce for Arroz con PolloCooking Rice in Chicken Gravy for Arroz con Pollo

It will start to absorb some of the great chicken flavor left in the pan. Perfect!

When the rice starts to turn opaque and slightly golden, you can add the tomato and jalapeno mixture from the blender.

Add the tomato and jalapeno mixture from the blender to the riceAdd the tomato and jalapeno mixture from the blender to the rice

Let it cook for a couple of minutes and then add:

3 cups broth
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano What is Mexican oregano?
1/4 teaspoon cumin (optional)
freshly ground black pepper
salt (optional)

Bring it to a boil and now the important taste test, especially checking the salt level. The thing is…

The exact amount of salt you need will depend on the broth you use. I sometimes use homemade chicken broth that doesn't contain sodium, so I have to add a heaping teaspoon of salt to this dish. Conversely, if you use store-bought broth, you may not need to add any salt.

So once this mixture has reached temperature, be sure to taste it, adding salt if you feel it needs it. It should be quite tasty at this point so don't eat it all!

When you are happy with the salt level, add the chicken to the pan.

Add the chicken thighs to the pan just before cooking.Add the chicken thighs to the pan just before cooking

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 20-25 minutes.

And now the best part…

Removing the lid and seeing how your amazing one-pot meal has transformed is so satisfying! Something about seeing how the rice has puffed up around the chicken gets me every time 🙂

Here's what this batch looked like after about 20 minutes….

Arroz con Pollo after cooking for 20 minutesArroz con Pollo after cooking for 20 minutes

Once you've made sure the liquid is fully absorbed, you can remove the pan from the heat, cover and let it sit with the steam for a few minutes.

Rice with chicken after cookingRice with chicken after cooking

Starting from the beginning…

Taste the rice.

It is without a doubt some of the best rice you will ever eat. Really.

It was cooked in chicken stock, broth, a little fat from the chicken skin and the roasted tomato mixture. It's off the charts and you'll have plenty if you start with 2 cups of uncooked rice.

Garnish the Arroz con Pollo with chopped fresh coriander stemsGarnish the Arroz con Pollo with chopped fresh coriander stems

Serve the chicken on a bed of UNREAL rice and for a few minutes everything will be fine.

I seasoned this batch with chopped fresh cilantro but you can consider that optional.

Chicken Legs on Rice Arroz con PolloChicken thighs on rice Arroz con Pollo

Ok, I hope you give this Arroz con Pollo a try. It is the very definition of comfort food and I think you will be amazed at how tasty it can be with so little work!

Feel free to get creative with your epic rice over the next few days. You can use it in so many tasty ways: burritos, tacos, tostadas, or even just mixed with black beans.

Enjoy!

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Rice with chicken after cookingRice with chicken after cooking

Mexican Chicken and Rice — Arroz con Pollo

This Arroz con Pollo is the most satisfying one-pot meal I've ever made! The rice is delicious and you can use it in all sorts of quick meals in the coming days. So good!

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Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Portions: 5

Calories: 691kcal

Author: Mexican, please

ingredients

  • 2-3 lb. chicken (I used 5 chicken thighs with bone)
  • 2 cups raw rice – Uncooked rice
  • 3 cups broth (or water)
  • 3 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 table spoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin (optional)
  • 0-1 teaspoons salt (to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • chopped fresh coriander (optional)
  • olive oil

Instructions

  • I usually brine the chicken, but note that this step is optional if you want a quicker version. Add 2 quarts of cold water to a large bowl along with 1/2 cup kosher salt. Stir well to dissolve the salt and then add the chicken thighs. Cover and let the brine sit in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.

  • Rinse and stem 3 cherry tomatoes. Roast tomatoes in oven (400F) for 30 minutes or until needed.

  • Remove the chicken pieces from the brine and pat dry. Preheat a deep skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat and add a good drizzle of oil, 2-3 tablespoons. When the oil is hot, you can add the chicken, browning both sides for a few minutes each. I usually start skin side down, cooking until the skin is golden brown, then flip and cook the bottom side for another few minutes. Once golden, you can remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside. Note: If you brine the chicken, the skin may not crisp up as easily because it has absorbed some of the salt water.

  • Add 2 cups of uncooked rice to the pan you browned the chicken in (the chicken has been set aside for now). Cook the rice for a few minutes over medium heat, stirring regularly.

  • While the rice is cooking, add the following ingredients to a blender: the roasted tomatoes, 1/2 small onion, 2 cloves of garlic, and 1 jalapeno pepper. Blend well. For a milder version, you can use less jalapeno pepper.

  • Once the rice is opaque and light brown, you can add the blended tomato and jalapeno mixture. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring regularly. Then add the remaining ingredients: 3 cups of broth, 1 tablespoon of Mexican oregano, 1/4 teaspoon of cumin (optional), freshly ground black pepper, and salt (optional). Bring it to a boil and do a few taste tests. The exact amount of salt you add will depend on the broth you use. If you use store-bought broth, you may not need to add much salt. If you use water, you will probably need to add a heaping teaspoon of salt. Taste and add a pinch of salt until this mixture seems good to you.

  • Add the browned chicken to the pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

  • Once all the liquid has been absorbed by the rice (usually around 20 minutes), you can remove it from the heat and let it sit on its own steam for a few minutes, covered.

  • Serve the chicken pieces on a bed of rice and, if desired, garnish with chopped fresh coriander.

  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator where they will keep for a few days. The rice is delicious, feel free to use it in the coming days in burritos, tacos, tostadas or even simply mixed with black beans. Enjoy!

Do you like this recipe?Click on the stars above to rate it or leave a comment below! @mexplease

Check out the latest post here: What Else Can I Do With Cilantro? 9 Mexican Recipes.

What else can I make with cilantro?  9 easy Mexican recipes. What else can I prepare with coriander?  9 simple Mexican recipes.

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