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Mom’s Spanish Chicken and Rice

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Mom’s Spanish chicken and rice, otherwise known as arroz con pollo is a delicious one pot meal the whole family will love.

Mom's Spanish chicken and rice, otherwise known as arroz con pollo is a delicious one pot meal the whole family will love.Mom’s Spanish Chicken and Rice

Arroz con pollo can be made so many different ways and also varies from country to country. In fact, I don’t use a recipe when I make this, I just use whatever I have on hand so it may never turn out the same twice. This is my Mom’s version, which I’ve lightened up and recently altered slightly. This recipe first appeared here in 2008 but was in desperate need of a new photo so I hope you enjoy it!

Mom's Spanish chicken and rice, otherwise known as arroz con pollo is a delicious one pot meal the whole family will love.

Mom makes her arroz con pollo with beer, green olives and some of the brine. She also adds frozen mixed vegetables to it for more flavor. Typically, she uses whole chicken pieces on the bone (skin and all) which gives it great flavor, but for this recipe I used boneless, skinless thighs.

What is Sazon seasoning made of?

Some of my Latin recipes you’ll see “sazon” listed in the ingredients. I buy Badia’s sazon because it has no msg. You can also just make it yourself if it’s not available near you. Sazon basically means seasoning in Spanish; it typically includes salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, dried ground coriander seed, cumin, ground oregano and ground achiote (annatto) seeds. The achiote (annatto) is what gives the sazon the reddish color and makes the rice yellow. You could sub paprika for the achiote, if this isn’t available to you. Some varieties contain azafrán (saffron), a pinch is all you’ll need if you want to add it. When you make your own, a good ratio is one tbsp of each spice. Mix well and store it someplace dry. When a recipe calls for a packet, simply use 1 1/2 tsp in place of the sazon. Best part, no msg. Here is the full homemade Sazon recipe.

It’s perfectly fine to use the chicken on the bone. And yes, you can use white meat if you prefer however, I personally find white meat too dry in this dish for my taste. I love this served with a little hot sauce on top and a simple salad on the side. If you would like to try my version which is made slightly different, and has no beer, click on Arroz Con Pollo, Lightened Up or make them both and let me know which you like best!

Mom's Spanish chicken and rice, otherwise known as arroz con pollo is a delicious one pot meal the whole family will love.
Mom's Spanish chicken and rice, otherwise known as arroz con pollo is a delicious one pot meal the whole family will love.

Mom's Spanish chicken and rice, otherwise known as arroz con pollo is a delicious one pot meal the whole family will love.

Mom's Spanish chicken and rice, otherwise known as arroz con pollo is a delicious one pot meal the whole family will love.

Mom's Spanish Chicken and Rice

4.72 from 14 votes
7
Cals:319
Protein:18.3
Carbs:46.3
Fat:5.2
Mom's Spanish chicken and rice, otherwise known as arroz con pollo is a delicious one pot meal the whole family will love.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Mom's Spanish chicken and rice, otherwise known as arroz con pollo is a delicious one pot meal the whole family will love.
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 1 hr
Total: 1 hr 10 mins
Yield: 8 servings
Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 medium bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 3/4 cups water
  • 3/4 cups light beer
  • 2 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 packet Badia sazon, or make your own, see above
  • 6 oz frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 tbsp 30 g alcaparrado (or pitted green olives, capers and pimentos)
  • 2 1/4 cups uncooked long grain white rice
  • 2 tsp kosher salt

Instructions

  • Place onion, bell pepper, garlic, and cilantro in a chopper or food processor to chop fine.
  • In a large heavy pot with a good fitting lid such as a Dutch oven; heat 1 tsp of oil over medium heat.
  • Season chicken pieces with salt and sauté until browned, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Remove chicken and set aside.
  • Heat remaining oil in skillet, then add onions, peppers, garlic and cilantro.
  • Sauté, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
  • Add water, beer, tomato sauce, chicken bouillon, sazon, chicken and salt.
  • Cook 10-12 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add frozen mixed vegetables, alcaparrado (or pimientos) with a little of the brine (liquid) from the olive jar, and rice.
  • Stir and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until water boils down and barely skims the top.
  • Once the water level reaches the top of the rice, cover with a tight fitting lid so no steam escapes and cook 25-30 minutes. (Tip: if your lid doesn't have a good tight fit, place a paper towel over the pot then cover as pictured below)
  • Shut heat off and let the pot sit wit the cover on an additional 10 minutes.
  • Remove lid and fluff with a fork.

Last Step:

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Notes

Makes about 12 1/2 cups.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 1/2 cups, Calories: 319 kcal, Carbohydrates: 46.3 g, Protein: 18.3 g, Fat: 5.2 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 28.5 mg, Sodium: 844 mg, Fiber: 1.7 g, Sugar: 0.4 g

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165 comments on “Mom’s Spanish Chicken and Rice”

  1. Hi Gina,
    Is there any way that I could substitute brown rice for the long grain white rice? My mother is diabetic, and brown rice does not affect the blood sugar as drastically. My experience has been that brown rice needs to be cooked quite a bit longer than white rice. Any suggestions? Thank you

    1. Avatar photo
      Sharon Gombeda

      I just saw this and my husband was type 2 diabetic (thankfully, he brought everything down with diet), but I still like to use Brown rice when I can. I was going through Gina’s other recipes and saw this one. In the notes about the recipe on the bottom, she says To make with brown rice, you can use quick cooking parboiled rice…here is the recipe of her’s that I use…hope this helps
      https://www.skinnytaste.com/arroz-con-pollo-lightened-up/

  2. Made this Saturday night and oh. my. gosh.   It is absolutely delicious!!   Soooo flavorful.  I made my own Sazon seasoning from the link provided I keep it in my spice cabinet.  We’ve tried the instant pot version of this too, and like it, but this was a fun Saturday-night-get-in-the-kitchen-and-cook kind of recipe.  Now we’re wrestling for the leftovers, haha.  We will definitely make it again!!  

  3. this was so awesome! I veganized it – then I made TJ sriracha tofu and added that to the rice. It was comforting, filling and I will make again. I made the sazon recipe and did 3 tsps to the recipes – yum!!!!! thank you so much!

  4. Really tasty dish, family loved it. I agree with comments below that for this amount of rice and chicken, 2 Sazon packets are needed. That’s what I did. I also seasoned the liquid with salt to taste before I added the chicken back in. Not sure if it was only 2 teaspoons but in this type of recipe, realize your rice will taste like the liquid so if the liquid is bland, your dish will be too. I also seasoned my chicken with more than just salt because I love flavor! Garlic, onion powder, adobo and black pepper!

  5. I have been looking for a recipe for Arroz Con Pollo. I had it at a restaurant in Washington State and just loved it. I haven’t made it yet, but your Mom’s recipe looks close to what I had. Theirs had a white cheese, maybe Mozzerella? I am not sure…

      1. I have never heard of cheese in Puerto Rican arroz con pollo and I’ve been making it since I was a teenager.

  6. I think she’s said down below that you could, but I made this and the beer added a great flavour, that didn’t taste beer-y since the alcohol cooks sway.

  7. Yum! OK I made this 2 nights ago and here are my suggestions: 1. a little less water.. I cut it back to 3 1/2 but I still feel like it could have had less, the rice was a big porridge-y. 2. Easily double the seasoning packet. I put one (Goya brand) and it was just ok, bordering on bland. I added an extra sprinkle to my leftovers today and it was great! So definitely 2 , maybe even 3. Other than that it was pretty easy prep, the addition of beer was tasty and clever and it made BUCKETS of leftovers.

  8. Made this last night and it was a huge hit! Super easy and delicious. My five-year-old gave it two thumbs up. I substituted roasted red pepper for fresh because that’s what I had on hand, and used capers and kalamata olives for the alcapparado.  I will definitely be making this again.

  9. Avatar photo
    Lisa Ferguson-Sanford

    This is one of my families favorites!!! Wandering if you have did this in your Instant pot??? Please post if you do! Love that your part of the IP group on FB also!

  10. Hi there! Would love to try this recipe! Looked up Badia seasoning on Amazon and it looks like it does indeed contain MSG. Can you link to the version of this seasoning you reference that does not contain MSG? Thank you!

  11. Pingback: Back of the Stove Chicken

  12. I made this and my husband and I love it! So much flavor and I used brown rice but only 2 cups and it came out perfect!