Arroz con pollo (Spanish for rice with chicken) is a traditional dish of Spain and Latin America, closely related to paella. In the Dominican Republic it is alternately called locrio de pollo, and in Saint Martin it is called lokri or locreo.
There is some debate as to whether it originated in Spain or Puerto Rico. Many Puerto Ricans note that arroz con pollo cannot be made without beer and annatto oil and saffron is no substitute. Beer and annatto are rarely used in Spanish cooking and never in arroz con pollo there. Annatto is frequently used in Puerto Rican cooking especially in rice dishes like arroz con gandules (rice with pork and pigeon peas) and arroz con maiz (rice with corn and sausage). Beer is used in many Puerto Rican dishes like pollo guisado (braised stewed chicken) and asopao de pollo (chicken rice stew). Arroz con pollo and most Puerto Rican rice dishes are highly seasoned with sofrito, which is another key ingredient in arroz con pollo.
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 8 chicken Maryland pieces, skin-on, bone-in, skin removed
- 2¼ tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1 green capsicum (bell pepper), diced
- 1 red capsicum (bell pepper), diced
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1½ cups long-grain rice
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1½ cups chicken stock
- ½ teaspoon saffron threads
- ½ cup tomato puree
- Combine the salt, garlic powder, cumin, black pepper and cayenne in a large plastic bag. Shake until the mixture is well combined.
- Pat the chicken dry and place in the bag with the spice mixture. Shake the bag, making sure the chicken is well coated.
- Heat the oil in a 30 cm high-sided skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the chicken and brown on all sides, about 6 minutes each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate, using tongs.
- Add the onions, red and green capsicums and ½ teaspoon salt to the skillet. Cook the vegetables over moderate heat, stirring, until softened and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Add the rice and garlic and cook until the rice begins to turn gold in colour and fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Meanwhile, combine the stock, tomato puree and remaining salt in a medium bowl. Add 1¼ cups water, the saffron threads, and the stock mixture to the skillet and stir to make sure the rice is covered in liquid.
- Nestle the chicken in the rice, adding any juices from the plate. Bring the rice to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Cook until the chicken is cooked through, the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 35 minutes.
- Let the skillet stand covered, about 10 minutes before serving.