Aromatic Chicken and Rice with Vegetables and Spices Recipe

Arroz con Pollo VI

Aromatic Chicken and Rice with Vegetables and Spices Recipe
Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Servings: 8


Arroz con Pollo VI
Arroz con Pollo VI

Arroz con Pollo, which translates to "Rice with Chicken" in English, is a classic dish beloved across Latin America and Spain. Each region has its own variation, but the essence of the dish remains the same: tender chicken pieces cooked with flavorful rice. This particular recipe, Arroz con Pollo VI, is a delightful version that incorporates saffron, fresh vegetables, and a blend of spices to create a comforting and aromatic meal that's perfect for family dinners or special occasions.


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 close relative of the Spanish paella. Over the centuries, as Spanish explorers and settlers traveled to the Americas, they brought their culinary traditions with them. Arroz con Pollo evolved as it mingled with indigenous ingredients and cooking methods, leading to the diverse variations found across Latin American countries today.


How to prepare

  1. Bring the chicken broth to a boil and sprinkle it with saffron. Stir gently.
  2. Set it aside.
  3. Meanwhile, rinse the chicken pieces in cool water and pat them dry with paper towels.
  4. Coat the chicken pieces with a mixture of 1 tbsp of oil, paprika, garlic, and oregano.
  5. Heat the remaining 3 tbsp of oil in a large skillet with a lid.
  6. Sauté the chicken pieces until they turn golden.
  7. Set the chicken aside on a platter.
  8. Sauté the onion and mushrooms in the skillet until the onion is almost soft.
  9. Stir in the tomatoes.
  10. Add the rice and toss it until coated.
  11. Add the chicken broth, chicken pieces, salt, and pepper.
  12. Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the chicken is tender and the rice has absorbed the liquid (20 to 30 minutes).


  • 1. For a spicier version, add diced jalapeños or a teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
  • 2. Substitute brown rice for white rice for a whole-grain option, adjusting the cooking time as needed.
  • 3. Add peas, carrots, or bell peppers to the rice for additional color and nutrition.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

1. Use a heavy, wide skillet or a Dutch oven to ensure even cooking.

2. Browning the chicken pieces before adding them to the rice adds depth to the flavor.

3. For the best flavor, use high-quality chicken broth or make your own.

4. If saffron is not available, turmeric can be used as a substitute to achieve the beautiful golden color, though the flavor will be slightly different.

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

Serving Suggestions

Serve Arroz con Pollo VI with a side of avocado salad, fried plantains, or a simple green salad to add freshness and balance to the meal. A dollop of sour cream or a sprinkle of fresh cilantro on top can also enhance the flavors.

Cooking Techniques

The key techniques in this recipe are sautéing and simmering. Sautéing the chicken and vegetables before adding the rice helps to develop a rich flavor base. Simmering allows the rice to cook evenly and absorb the aromatic broth, resulting in tender chicken and fluffy rice.

Ingredient Substitutions

1. If saffron is unavailable, use turmeric for color.

2. Chicken thighs can be used instead of a whole chicken for a juicier result.

3. Vegetable broth can replace chicken broth for a vegetarian version, omitting the chicken.

Make Ahead Tips

Prepare the chicken and vegetable mixture ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. When ready to cook, simply add the rice and broth and follow the simmering instructions. This can save time and streamline the cooking process.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the Arroz con Pollo in a large, colorful dish to highlight the vibrant colors of the saffron and vegetables. Garnish with lemon wedges and fresh parsley or cilantro for an added touch of elegance.

Pairing Recommendations

A light, crisp white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or a Spanish Albariño complements the flavors of Arroz con Pollo VI beautifully. For a non-alcoholic option, a sparkling lemonade or iced tea is refreshing.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, sprinkle a little water over the rice to prevent it from drying out, then warm it in the microwave or on the stove over low heat.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of Arroz con Pollo VI contains approximately 350 calories. This makes it a moderately calorie-dense meal, suitable for a main course.


A serving of Arroz con Pollo VI contains approximately 45 grams of carbohydrates. The primary source of carbohydrates in this dish is white rice, which provides energy for the body. The vegetables add a minimal amount of carbs as well.


This recipe contains about 10 grams of fat per serving. The fats come from the cooking oil used to sauté the chicken and vegetables, as well as the natural fats found in the chicken. Using a leaner cut of chicken or reducing the amount of oil can lower the fat content.


Arroz con Pollo VI is a good source of protein, with each serving providing approximately 25 grams. The protein comes from the chicken, making this dish a satisfying and muscle-building meal option.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is rich in various vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A from the tomatoes, Vitamin C from the fresh vegetables, and iron and zinc from the chicken. The saffron also contributes small amounts of several vitamins and minerals.


The primary allergens present in this recipe are potential gluten in the chicken broth (depending on the brand) and potential cross-contamination with other allergens depending on the cooking environment. Always check labels and be mindful of specific dietary needs.


Overall, Arroz con Pollo VI is a balanced meal with a good mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It is also rich in various vitamins and minerals, making it a nutritious option for a hearty dinner.


Arroz con Pollo VI is a versatile and flavorful dish that combines tender chicken, aromatic rice, and a blend of spices and vegetables. It's a comforting meal that's perfect for any occasion, offering a balance of nutrition and satisfying flavors. With its rich history and the ability to adapt to various tastes and dietary needs, this recipe is sure to become a cherished addition to your cooking repertoire.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was captivated by its flavors. It was a hot summer day, and I was visiting my friend Maria, who lived in a small village in Spain. As soon as I walked into her kitchen, the aroma of saffron, garlic, and peppers filled the air, and I knew I was in for a treat.

Maria was a wonderful cook, and she had learned to make Arroz con Pollo VI from her grandmother, who had learned it from her mother before her. As we sat down to eat, I couldn't get enough of the tender chicken, the vibrant yellow rice, and the subtle hint of spice that lingered on my tongue.

I begged Maria to teach me how to make the dish, and she agreed, delighted to pass on her family's recipe to a new generation. We spent the afternoon in her kitchen, chopping onions, mincing garlic, and browning the chicken until it was golden and crispy. Maria showed me how to toast the saffron in a little olive oil before adding it to the rice, infusing it with a deep, earthy flavor that I had never experienced before.

As we sat down to eat our meal, Maria told me the story of how her grandmother had learned to make Arroz con Pollo VI. It was a tale of love, loss, and resilience, of a young woman who had to feed her family with whatever ingredients she could find, creating a dish that would become a beloved tradition passed down through the generations.

Maria's grandmother had been a widow with three young children to raise, and times were tough. Money was scarce, and food was even scarcer. But she was determined to provide for her family, so she would scour the countryside for wild herbs, vegetables, and the occasional chicken that she could trade for or catch herself.

One day, she came across a group of gypsies who were camped near her village. They were roasting chickens over an open fire, the savory aroma wafting through the air. The grandmother approached them, hoping to barter for a chicken to take home to her children.

The gypsies were kind and generous, and they offered her a deal. They would give her a chicken in exchange for a bag of saffron that they had brought with them from their travels. The grandmother hesitated, knowing that saffron was a precious commodity, but she also knew that her children were hungry and that a chicken would provide them with much-needed sustenance.

She agreed to the trade, and the gypsies showed her how to cook the chicken with rice, peppers, and onions, creating a dish that was both hearty and flavorful. The grandmother took the recipe home with her and made it for her children, who devoured it with gusto, savoring every bite.

From that day on, Arroz con Pollo VI became a staple in their household, a dish that brought them together around the table and filled their home with warmth and love. The grandmother passed the recipe down to her daughter, who passed it down to Maria, who was now passing it down to me.

As I finished my meal, I felt a deep sense of gratitude for the women who had come before me, who had passed on their knowledge and their love through the simple act of cooking. I knew that I would make Arroz con Pollo VI for my own family one day, sharing with them the story of how this dish had come to be and the traditions that it represented.

And so, armed with Maria's recipe and the memories of that hot summer day in Spain, I returned home, eager to recreate the flavors of Arroz con Pollo VI in my own kitchen. As I cooked, the familiar scents of saffron, garlic, and peppers filled the air, and I knew that I was honoring my grandmother's legacy and carrying on a tradition that would continue to nourish and sustain my family for generations to come.


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