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Arroz con Pollo

Cuban Arroz Con Pollo

Cuban Arroz Con Pollo is just so classic. In most Cuban families, this is a dish that is prepared pretty regularly. It is the “go-to” for larger family gatherings. It does make sense. It can all be done in one pot, and you can really make a lot of food with so little.

Cuban Arroz Con Pollo also happens to be a pretty intimidating dish to someone who just started cooking. We have all been there. The good news is, this recipe is definitely a lot easier than it seems. It’s also pretty forgiving of mistakes, so if anything goes wrong you can just make adjustments and still end up with something pretty delicious. So we would definitely suggest giving it a try. .

This Arroz Con Pollo recipe is from Ani’s Abi Rosy. Abi Rosy is really just her mom’s best friend, and is actually not a pro in the kitchen. However she did make this incredible arroz con pollo. 

Abi, like so many Abuelas out there, lives to feed her grandchildren and enjoys that undeniable pride from mastering great traditional recipes like this one. 

Here’s more or less what you’re going to need:

As with most great traditional recipes, there are so many interpretations and different ways to make this. Everyone has their own preference or way of going about it.

For example, some people like to use white meat, others darkmeat, or bone in meat for cooking. There are some people who like the rice to be very dry, and others who like more liquid or “asopado” in our house. There is no right or wrong. We would tell you, to use whatever cut of chicken you want and make the rice as dry or as wet as you want.

We just want you to make it. Enjoy!

Cuban Arroz Con Pollo

Recipe by Abuelas Cuban CounterCourse: EntreeCuisine: CubanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut crosswise into 3 even pieces 

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, each cut in half 

  • 2-3 skinless chicken legs (drumsticks)

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 

  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped

  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped

  • 1 cubanelle OR poblano pepper, chopped 

  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely minced

  • 1/8 cup parsley, chopped

  • 1/4 cup of extra Virgin olive oil (I like carbonell and colavita), plus 2 tablespoons

  • 4-5 cups of chicken bone broth

  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste

  • 1 packet of Sazon “seasoning with achiote”

  • 1 teaspoons of bijol (for color and flavor),

  • 1.5 cups of Valencia rice, rinsed and drained 

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 cup of vino seco, I like the brand Artañan (oro). If you can’t find this brand a dry white wine will work too. 

  • 2 -3 tablespoons of green olives, I like manzanilla or pitted castelvetrano olives (add in a little bit of brine too)

  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

  • Lime wedges for serving


  • Once the rice has been rinsed and drained add it to a bowl with 1 teaspoon of bijol and 2 cups of the broth. Stir together so the rice is submerged in the liquid and the bijol is dissolved in the broth. Set aside.
  • Place chicken on a sheet tray and dry the chicken well with a paper towel Sprinkle the chicken with 1/8 cup of olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  • In a LARGE non-stick or ceramic skillet heat to medium high. Sear the chicken on both sides evenly for 5 minutes on each side and place on a plate and reserve until we are ready to use again. You do not want to cook the chicken all the way through.
  • In that same pan (without cleaning) add the remaining olive oil with the onions.  Season the onions with salt and pepper and cook until translucent (5-7 minutes).  Once the onions are cooked through, add the peppers.  Season the vegetables with sazón, add your bay leaves and cook until tender, about another 5 minutes. Then veggies to a side of the pan and add garlic to the open space, and cook until slightly golden. 
  • Once garlic is golden (2-3 minutes) Add tomato paste, vino seco, and 2 cups of broth. Bring to a boil.  Add the chicken.  Cook all together for about 3-5 minutes on high. Then cover lower heat to medium low and cook for about 25 minutes covered. Make sure the lid is tight.  
  • The chicken should be falling apart. And you can break it up with tongs to shred slightly. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust seasoning as needed.  Add it back to the pot if you removed it to shred.
  • Raise the heat. Add the rice along with the broth it was soaking in. Time to check the liquid in the pot. If everything is just barely under the liquid, add one extra cup of broth or water. If everything is completely submerged, then you can proceed.
  • Bring the pot to a boil for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly. Give it one more good stir, then cover, lower the heat, and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  • If the rice is too dry for your taste, and you like it “a la chorrera” add in an extra cup.

    If your rice is slightly undercooked (still hard), add another 1 cup- 1.5 cups, stir it, cover it again and let it simmer for another 10 minutes. 
  • Add the olives peas, and parsley and serve immediately


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