Arroz con Pollo Castillane Recipe from Spain

Arroz con Pollo Castillane

Arroz con Pollo Castillane Recipe from Spain
Region / culture: Spain | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 45 minutes | Servings: 4


Arroz con Pollo Castillane
Arroz con Pollo Castillane

Arroz con Pollo Castillane is a classic dish that brings the rich flavors of Spain directly to your dinner table. This beloved recipe combines tender chicken pieces with fragrant rice, fresh vegetables, and a blend of spices that create a hearty and satisfying meal. Perfect for family dinners or special occasions, this dish is not only delicious but also a beautiful representation of Spanish culinary traditions.


The origins of Arroz con Pollo can be traced back to Spain, where rice dishes have been a staple for centuries. It is believed to have evolved from the Muslim occupation of Spain, which introduced rice cultivation to the region. Over time, the recipe has been embraced and adapted by various cultures across Latin America, each adding their unique twist to the classic. The Castillane version, in particular, is noted for its use of saffron and Madeira wine, ingredients that add depth and complexity to the dish.


How to prepare

  1. Dredge the chicken pieces in flour, salt, and pepper.
  2. Lightly brown the chicken in oil, turning often to prevent burning.
  3. Remove the chicken and drain off all but 1 tbsp of drippings.
  4. Add the onion to the drippings and cook until tender but not brown.
  5. Stir in the chicken broth and rice.
  6. Return the chicken to the skillet and place tomatoes on top of the chicken.
  7. Add bay leaf, cloves, parsley, and saffron.
  8. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is tender. Note that all the liquid will not be completely absorbed by the rice.
  9. Just before serving, add wine and garnish with slivered peppers.


  • There are many ways to vary this classic recipe to suit personal tastes or dietary needs. For a vegetarian version, substitute the chicken with chickpeas or tofu and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. For a spicier dish, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or some diced jalapeños.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the best results when preparing Arroz con Pollo Castillane, consider the following tips:

- Use a heavy, deep skillet or a Dutch oven to ensure even cooking.

- Brown the chicken pieces well on all sides to develop flavor.

- Use high-quality saffron for its distinct aroma and color.

- Allow the rice to cook undisturbed to prevent it from becoming mushy.

- Add the Madeira wine just before serving to preserve its flavor.

Serving Suggestions

Arroz con Pollo Castillane is best served hot, directly from the stove. It can be garnished with additional fresh parsley and served with a side of crusty bread or a simple green salad to complete the meal.

Cooking Techniques

The key techniques involved in preparing Arroz con Pollo Castillane include browning the chicken to develop flavor, sautéing the onions to create a flavorful base, and simmering the rice and chicken together so that the rice absorbs the broth and spices.

Ingredient Substitutions

If saffron is not available, turmeric can be used as a substitute to achieve a similar color, though the flavor will be slightly different. Similarly, if Madeira wine is not on hand, a dry sherry or a splash of white wine can be used as an alternative.

Make Ahead Tips

To save time, the chicken pieces can be browned in advance and stored in the refrigerator until ready to cook. The vegetables can also be chopped and kept refrigerated. This allows for quick assembly and cooking when ready to prepare the meal.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the Arroz con Pollo Castillane in a large, shallow dish to showcase the colorful ingredients. Garnish with lemon wedges and a sprinkle of chopped parsley for an added touch of freshness and color.

Pairing Recommendations

A light, crisp white wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc or a Spanish Albariño pairs beautifully with the flavors of this dish. For a non-alcoholic option, a sparkling lemonade or iced tea complements the meal well.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftover Arroz con Pollo Castillane can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat, simply warm in a skillet over medium heat, adding a splash of chicken broth or water to prevent the rice from drying out.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of Arroz con Pollo Castillane contains approximately 500 calories, making it a hearty and satisfying meal option. The balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates ensures that it is both nutritious and filling.


A serving of Arroz con Pollo Castillane contains approximately 45 grams of carbohydrates. The primary source of carbs in this dish comes from the rice, which provides energy and helps to make the meal filling and satisfying.


This dish contains about 15 grams of fat per serving, with the majority coming from the olive oil and the natural fats in the chicken. Using olive oil not only adds flavor but also provides heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.


Arroz con Pollo Castillane is an excellent source of protein, offering about 35 grams per serving. The chicken pieces contribute the bulk of the protein, making this dish a great option for muscle repair and growth.

Vitamins and minerals

This recipe is rich in various vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C from the peppers and tomatoes, vitamin A from the tomatoes, and iron from the chicken. Additionally, saffron adds a small amount of manganese, which is important for bone health and metabolism.


The primary allergens present in this dish include gluten (from any flour used for dredging the chicken) and sulfites (from the Madeira wine). Individuals with sensitivities to these ingredients should modify the recipe accordingly.


Overall, Arroz con Pollo Castillane is a balanced and nutritious meal that provides a good mix of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. It is relatively high in calories, making it a suitable option for active individuals or as a hearty family meal.


Arroz con Pollo Castillane is a flavorful and satisfying dish that combines tender chicken, fragrant rice, and a medley of vegetables and spices. With its rich history and nutritional benefits, it is a wonderful meal to share with family and friends. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or explore variations, this dish is sure to become a favorite in your culinary repertoire.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I knew it was something special. It was handed down to me by my dear friend Maria, who learned it from her grandmother in the hills of Castilla. The flavors and aromas that wafted from the pot as she prepared it were like nothing I had ever experienced before.

I remember standing in Maria's cozy kitchen, watching her deftly chop onions and garlic, brown the chicken in a sizzling pan, and carefully measure out the perfect combination of herbs and spices. The smell of saffron, paprika, and cumin filled the room, transporting me to a quaint little village in Spain.

As Maria stirred the rice into the simmering broth, a sense of anticipation washed over me. I couldn't wait to taste the finished dish, to savor the rich and savory flavors that promised to delight my taste buds.

Finally, after what felt like an eternity, Maria ladled a generous portion of Arroz con Pollo Castillane onto my plate. The vibrant colors of the saffron-infused rice, the tender pieces of chicken, and the plump green peas were a feast for the eyes.

I took my first bite, and my taste buds exploded with joy. The flavors danced on my tongue, each ingredient singing in perfect harmony. The rice was cooked to perfection, each grain infused with the savory broth and spices. The chicken was tender and juicy, the vegetables crisp and vibrant.

As I savored each mouthful, I knew that this recipe was something truly special. It was a labor of love, a dish that had been passed down through generations, each cook adding their own touch to make it their own.

After that day, I became obsessed with perfecting the recipe for Arroz con Pollo Castillane. I spent hours in my own kitchen, experimenting with different combinations of herbs and spices, testing out different cooking methods, and seeking out the freshest and highest quality ingredients.

I visited local markets and specialty stores, searching for the perfect saffron, the most flavorful paprika, and the juiciest chicken. I consulted cookbooks and online resources, learning about the traditional ingredients and techniques used in Spanish cuisine.

Slowly but surely, my own version of Arroz con Pollo Castillane began to take shape. I added my own twist to the recipe, incorporating my favorite flavors and ingredients to make it truly my own.

Over the years, I have shared this recipe with friends and family, delighting their taste buds with the rich and savory flavors of Arroz con Pollo Castillane. Each time I make it, I am transported back to that day in Maria's kitchen, watching her prepare the dish with such care and love.

And as I sit down to enjoy a steaming plate of Arroz con Pollo Castillane, surrounded by loved ones and laughter, I am filled with a sense of gratitude for the culinary traditions that have been passed down to me. I am grateful for the opportunity to share this delicious dish with others, to bring a taste of Spain to my own kitchen, and to honor the memory of my dear friend Maria and her beloved grandmother.


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