Cuban Arroz Con Pollo
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Why I Love This Cuban Arroz Con Pollo Recipe
My mom is a great cook, and experimented a lot in the kitchen when I was a kid…
However, there are about 6 dishes that capture the essence of my childhood.
These are the meals I was raise on:
- Beef Stew
- Sunday Pot Roast
- Navy Bean Ham Bone Soup
- Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
- Taco Salad
- and Chicken and Rice
My mom became an expert on these dishes, based on repeated practice, and we loved eating them every time they were placed on the table. (Oh, and her potato salad needs to be an honorable mention as well!)
Therefore, as an adult, any recipe that reminds me of my mom’s signature dishes is near and dear to my heart.
Arroz Con Pollo is a simple Latin American dish comprised of chicken, rice, onions, herbs, and spices.
Although it’s not the same as my mom’s chicken and rice, it gives me the same nostalgic heart palpitations every time I taste it.
It’s like mom’s recipe… With a little added spice, bell peppers, and a touch of tomato paste. (Minus, the carrots and celery.)
I simply can’t get enough of Cuban-style arroz con pollo!
Arroz Con Pollo Cubano (AKA Cuban Chicken and Rice)
Arroz Con Pollo is a popular home-style dish all across Central America.
Each country has its own way of making it, and a list of must-include ingredients.
However, I love Cuban Chicken and Rice for its simplicity.
The grocery list is short, the flavor is ultra comforting, and the leftovers are fantastic!
The one key ingredient needed to make Arroz Con Pollo Cubano taste just right is Sazon Completa. With this key ingredient, you will make the absolute best arroz con pollo ever!
What Is Sazon Completa?
Sazon Completa, or Complete Seasoning, is a Cuban spice blend that incorporates all the important herbs and spices for Arroz Con Pollo (and many other Latin American dishes.)
Sazon Completa Generally Includes:
It is found in the international section of most grocery store chains, but might also be found in the spice aisle. Some American spice brands label Sazon Completa as “Cuban Seasoning.”
If you can’t find it, you can make it with pantry staples, substituting turmeric for the annatto.
(Don’t worry… We’ve included a recipe below.)
Easy Arroz Con Pollo Ingredients
Here’s a list of everything you will need to make this recipe…
- Bone-in chicken pieces – I used thighs and legs, but you can use a whole cut-up fryer chicken, or even just bone-in chicken breasts.
- All-purpose flour – Or gluten-free baking flour.
- Sazon Completa – Cuban Complete Seasoning. Buy it or make it from scratch.
- Olive oil – To brown the chicken and sauté the veggies.
- Onion – Peeled and chopped.
- Red bell pepper – Seeded and chopped.
- Long-grain rice – White is traditional, but you can use brown.
- Chicken broth – Or vegetable broth.
- Tomato paste – For color and tangy flavor.
- Cilantro – For a fresh garnish at the end.
How To Make Arroz Con Pollo
- Mix the Dredge. Set out a large bowl. Add the flour and half the Sazon Completa to the bowl. Mix well. Then toss the chicken pieces in the flour mixture to fully coat.
- Brown the Chicken. Set a large 7-8 quart sauté pan (or dutch oven) over medium heat. Add the oil. Once hot, place the chicken pieces to the pan. Brown the chicken on all sides, rotating every 2-3 minutes. Then remove the chicken and set aside.
- Sauté the Vegetables. Place the chopped onions and peppers in the pan. Sauté for 2 minutes. Then add in the rice and remaining Sazon Completa. Stir and sauté the rice for 2 more minutes.
- All In! Stir in the chicken broth and tomato paste. Place the chicken pieces on top of the rice. Cover the pan with a heavy lid and bring to a boil.
- Simmer. Once the broth is boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and continue simmering, until the rice is tender. Fluff the rice and stir in the chopped cilantro.
Get the Full (Printable) Cuban Arroz Con Pollo Recipe Below
Cuban Chicken and Rice FAQ
I Can’t Find Sazon Completa, What Do I Do?
We’ve got you! There is a simple recipe for Cuban Complete Seasoning below in the recipe card.
Is It A Good Make-Ahead (or Meal Prep) Recipe?
Yes, Arroz Con Pollo Cubano Can be made up to 5 days in advance. Therefore it’s a great make-ahead and leftover meal.
Is Arroz Con Pollo Gluten-Free And/Or Dairy-Free?
Gluten-Free: You can use gluten-free baking flour in place of the all-purpose wheat flour in this recipe, so that it is gluten-free. Be sure to check the Sazon Completa bottle as well. It should not have gluten in it, but it’s always best to double-check!
Dairy-Free: Yes, this recipe is naturally dairy-free.
Can You Freeze Arroz Con Pollo?
Yes! Place the Cuban Chicken and Rice in an airtight container and freeze for up to 6 months. Then thaw at room temperature before reheating.
Reheat in the microwave, on the stovetop, or in the oven.
More Comfort Food Favorites
- Cuban Ropa Vieja
- Cajun Chicken and Rice Casserole
- Company Potatoes
- Homemade Chicken and Dumplings
- Chicken Enchiladas
- Ricotta Baked Ziti with Sausage
- Slow Cooker Brunswick Stew
- Easy Sausage Gravy and Biscuits
Cuban Arroz Con Pollo Recipe
- 4 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (I used thighs and legs.)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free baking flour)
- 3 tablespoons Sazon Completa "Cuban Complete Seasoning"
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 cups long-grain rice
- 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (or parsley)
- Set out a large bowl. Add the flour and 1 1/2 tablespoons Sazon Completa to the bowl. Mix well. Then toss the chicken pieces in the flour mixture to fully coat.
- Set a large 7-8 quart sauté pan (or dutch oven) over medium heat. Add the oil. Once hot, place the chicken pieces to the pan. Brown the chicken on all sides, rotating every 2-3 minutes. (About 10 minutes total.) Then remove the chicken and set aside.
- Place the chopped onions and peppers in the pan. Sauté for 2 minutes. Then add in the rice and remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons Sazon Completa. Stir and sauté the rice for 2 more minutes.
- Stir in the chicken broth and tomato paste. Place the chicken pieces on top of the rice. Cover the pan with a heavy lid and bring to a boil.
- Once the broth is boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and continue simmering for 20-23 minutes, until the rice is tender. (Keep the pot covered.) Fluff the rice and stir in the chopped cilantro.
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried cilantro
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground annatto (or tumeric)
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