Abuelita's Arroz con Pollo

Susan Feliciano


I have watched my mother-in-law make her Arroz con Pollo several times, and I believe I have the recipe correct. This is a Puerto Rican dish, very different from the Mexican version of Arroz con Pollo which is usually covered with cheese.
Adding the peas is optional, but she usually does. If you don't have pigeon peas or chick peas on hand, use green peas. It adds a nice color.
This is posted for my daughters, who want to collect all their Abuelita's recipes.


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20 Min
55 Min
Stove Top


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3 lb
chicken pieces *or*
2 lb
boneless breasts and thighs
3 Tbsp
olive oil
1 Tbsp
dried oregano
3 clove
garlic, smashed and slivered
1/2 tsp
1/2 tsp
ground black pepper
2 Tbsp
cider vinegar
1/4 c
chopped bacon or salt pork
1/2 c
diced onion
green bell pepper, diced
2 pkg
saffron yellow rice mix (10 oz. total)
1 or 2
seeded chopped tomatoes
3 c
chicken stock or water
1 c
pigeon peas or garbanzo beans, drained well
1/4 c
sliced pimento-stuffed spanish olives

How to Make Abuelita's Arroz con Pollo


  • 1Wash chicken pieces and pat dry. Combine oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, and vinegar in a small bowl. Rub this mixture well into the chicken pieces.
  • 2Heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown all chicken pieces well on both sides. Do this in 2-3 batches so as not to crowd chicken. Remove chicken to an oven-proof plate, cover with foil, and keep warm.
  • 3In same skillet, cook bacon or salt pork until fat is rendered and bacon crisps up. Saute the onion and green pepper in the bacon fat until soft. Add a little olive oil if necessary. Stir in tomatoes and rice mix. Stir over medium heat until rice is well coated and tomatoes release their liquid. Stir in the chicken stock slowly, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and arrange chicken pieces over rice. Cover and cook on low heat until all water is absorbed and chicken is done, 20-30 minutes.
  • 4Uncover skillet and stir in pigeon peas and olives. Raise heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until rice dries out slightly and makes a crispy crust on the bottom of the skillet.
  • 5Serve with fried plantains Abuelita’s Tostones de Plátano (Fried Plantains) for an authentic Puerto Rican supper.

Printable Recipe Card

About Abuelita's Arroz con Pollo

Course/Dish: Chicken, Other Main Dishes
Main Ingredient: Chicken
Regional Style: Puerto Rican
Dietary Needs: Gluten-Free, Dairy Free, Wheat Free
Other Tag: Heirloom

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