Arroz con Pollo III Recipe from Panama | Ingredients & Directions

Arroz con Pollo III

Arroz con Pollo III Recipe from Panama | Ingredients & Directions
Region / culture: Panama | Preparation time: 1 hour | Cooking time: 1 hour | Servings: 6


Arroz con Pollo III
Arroz con Pollo III

Arroz con Pollo, a classic dish that translates to "rice with chicken" in Spanish, is a beloved recipe across Latin America and Spain, with each region adding its unique twist. This Arroz con Pollo III recipe brings together the savory flavors of chicken, the richness of olive oil, the tanginess of orange juice, and the warmth of saffron to create a comforting, one-pot meal that's perfect for family dinners or special occasions. This guide will walk you through the history, cooking tips, nutritional information, and various ways to enjoy and adapt this versatile dish.


The origins of Arroz con Pollo can be traced back to Spain, where the Moors introduced rice cultivation around the 10th century. The dish is a direct descendant of the Arabic dish, paella. As Spaniards migrated to the Americas, they brought Arroz con Pollo with them, where it evolved to include local ingredients and cooking methods. Today, nearly every Latin American country has its own version of Arroz con Pollo, making it a staple dish in Hispanic cuisine.


How to prepare

  1. Cut the chicken into pieces and season with salt, pepper, and orange juice.
  2. Let the chicken stand for 1 hour.
  3. Heat the olive oil and brown the chicken pieces.
  4. Remove the chicken from the pan and add the chopped onion, green pepper, and garlic.
  5. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes and add the tomato purée.
  6. Continue cooking for a while and add the chicken and rice.
  7. Stir well and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
  8. Add the stock, salt, green olives, and capers.
  9. Cover and cook over high heat until it boils and the rice pops.
  10. Uncover and reduce the heat.
  11. Pour the wine over the rice and continue cooking until the rice is completely cooked and the chicken is tender.
  12. Remove the chicken from the rice and debone the meat.
  13. Return the chicken meat to the rice and stir well.
  14. Add the peas.
  15. When ready to serve, transfer to a serving dish and garnish with red pepper strips.


  • 1. Vegetarian Arroz con Pollo: Replace chicken with a mix of beans and vegetables like zucchini and mushrooms.
  • 2. Seafood Arroz con Pollo: Use shrimp or mixed seafood instead of chicken for a coastal twist.
  • 3. Spicy Arroz con Pollo: Add jalapeños or hot sauce to the recipe for an extra kick.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

1. Marinate the chicken in orange juice, salt, and pepper for at least an hour to enhance its flavor.

2. Brown the chicken pieces well on all sides to add depth to the dish.

3. Use a wide, shallow pan to ensure even cooking of the rice and chicken.

4. Add saffron not just for the iconic yellow color but also for its unique flavor and aroma.

5. Let the dish rest for a few minutes after cooking to allow the flavors to meld together.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Arroz con Pollo III with a side of avocado salad or fried plantains for a complete meal. A light, crisp white wine also pairs beautifully with the dish.

Cooking Techniques

For an authentic touch, try cooking the dish in a traditional paella pan. Additionally, achieving a "socarrat" or slightly crispy bottom layer of rice adds texture and flavor to the dish.

Ingredient Substitutions

1. Lemon juice can be used instead of orange juice for a tangier flavor.

2. Chicken thighs are a great alternative to a whole chicken for more tender meat.

3. Quinoa or cauliflower rice can replace white rice for a lower-carb option.

Make Ahead Tips

Prepare the chicken marinade and chop the vegetables a day ahead to save time on cooking day. The dish can also be fully cooked and refrigerated for up to two days before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Garnish the dish with fresh cilantro, lemon wedges, and sliced avocados for a pop of color and freshness. Serve it directly from the pan for a rustic look.

Pairing Recommendations

A light, fruity white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or a crisp beer like a lager complements the flavors of Arroz con Pollo III perfectly.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat in a microwave or on the stove over medium heat, adding a little chicken stock or water to keep the rice moist.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Arroz con Pollo III contains approximately 400-500 calories, making it a hearty and satisfying meal.


A serving of Arroz con Pollo III contains approximately 45-55 grams of carbohydrates, primarily from the rice. The exact amount can vary based on the type of rice used and any additional ingredients.


This dish is moderately high in fats, with about 10-15 grams per serving, mainly from olive oil and the chicken's skin. Using skinless chicken pieces can reduce the fat content.


Arroz con Pollo III is an excellent source of protein, providing about 25-35 grams per serving, thanks to the generous amount of chicken in the recipe.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is rich in vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C from orange juice and green peppers, Vitamin A from tomato purée, and iron and zinc from the chicken.


Common allergens in this recipe include garlic and olives. Those with specific food sensitivities should adjust the recipe accordingly.


Arroz con Pollo III is a balanced meal, offering a good mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. It can be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation.


Arroz con Pollo III is a versatile, flavorful dish that brings the warmth of Latin American cuisine to your table. With its rich history, nutritional benefits, and adaptability to different tastes and dietary needs, it's a recipe that can be enjoyed in countless ways. Whether you're cooking for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion, Arroz con Pollo III is sure to delight.

How did I get this recipe?

I can't forget the moment I stumbled upon this recipe for Arroz con Pollo III. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my dear friend Maria in her cozy little kitchen. Maria was known in our neighborhood for her amazing cooking skills, and I always looked forward to learning new recipes from her.

As soon as I walked into her kitchen, I could smell the delicious aroma of chicken and spices wafting through the air. Maria greeted me with a warm smile and a hug, and then she gestured towards the stove where a large pot of Arroz con Pollo was simmering away.

"Would you like to help me finish up this dish?" Maria asked, handing me a wooden spoon.

I eagerly nodded and rolled up my sleeves, ready to learn from the master chef herself. Maria began to explain the process of making Arroz con Pollo, a traditional Spanish dish that she had learned from her own grandmother many years ago.

As we worked together, Maria shared stories of her childhood in Spain and how her grandmother used to cook this dish for special occasions. She explained how the combination of saffron, garlic, and paprika gave the rice its rich and savory flavor, and how the addition of tomatoes and bell peppers added a touch of sweetness to balance out the dish.

I listened intently, soaking up every word and every step of the recipe. Maria's passion for cooking was infectious, and I couldn't wait to try making Arroz con Pollo on my own.

After a few hours of cooking and chatting, the Arroz con Pollo was finally ready. Maria ladled generous portions into bowls and sprinkled them with fresh cilantro before serving them to me.

As I took my first bite, I was transported back to Spain, to Maria's grandmother's kitchen, where the aroma of spices and the sound of laughter filled the air. The flavors of the dish were a perfect balance of savory and sweet, and I knew that I had stumbled upon a recipe that would become a favorite in my own kitchen.

I thanked Maria profusely for teaching me the recipe and promised to make it for my own family and friends. She smiled and patted my hand, saying, "Cooking is all about sharing love and memories through food. I'm so glad I could pass on this recipe to you."

And so, from that day on, Arroz con Pollo III became a staple in my culinary repertoire. I made it for family gatherings, potlucks, and even for quiet evenings at home. Each time I cooked it, I would think of Maria and her grandmother, and the warm memories we had shared in that cozy kitchen.

Years passed, and I continued to refine the recipe, adding my own twist with different herbs and spices. But the essence of the dish remained the same – a simple, comforting meal that brought people together and created lasting memories.

Now, whenever I make Arroz con Pollo III, I can't help but smile and think back to that warm summer day in Maria's kitchen. That recipe has become more than just a dish to me – it's a reminder of friendship, tradition, and the joy of cooking. And I will always be grateful for stumbling upon it that fateful day.


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