Arroz con Pollo (Caribbean Rice with Chicken)

So my hubby Normando or as I call him Normy or Norman, is from Puerto Rico. So the good wifey I am, I wanted to learn how to make the food of his homeland. So I chose Arroz con Pollo (Caribbean Rice with Chicken). Pretty easy dish! So this will be the 2nd time I have made it! I would like to master it and then learn to make more foods from his homeland…

I got the recipe from this book:

Normy has explained to me when trying to find Puerto Rican recipes that I am to not look online! He told me what I need to know about Puerto Rican food is in this book!

So here we go…

I copied what was in the book…

So I went through the recipe and picked out what I needed so I could do my usual display of ingredients…


A- 2 1/2 pounds chicken pieces (I used thighs) (Normy says he has had it with drumsticks and thighs, but I did just thighs because that’s what I like, dark meat)

B- 2 peppercorns (whole black pepper) I just used fresh ground black pepper


2 cloves garlic, peeled, and then I minced them


1 teaspoon dried oregano,

4 1/2 teaspoons salt,


2 teaspoons olive oil,


1 teaspoon vinegar or fresh lime juice. (I used balsamic vinegar)


(Crush and mix in a mortar) (using a mortar is the best way to do this, but I don’t have one so I just mixed it in a bowl)


C- 1 tablespoon lard or vegetable oil, 1 ounce salt pork, 2 ounces lean cured ham (for salt pork and ham- washed and diced)

D- 1 onion, peeled, 1 green pepper, seeded, 3 sweet chili peppers, seeded, 1 tomato, 6 cilantro (culantro) leaves (chopped)

E- 1/2 teaspoon salt, 10 olives stuffed with pimento, 1 tablespoon capers, 1/4 cup tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons fat or Achiote Coloring, 3 cups rice

F- 1 can (1 pound 1 ounce) green peas (I did not add)

G- 1 can (4 ounces) pimento (I did not add)

1- Wash chicken and divide each chicken piece in two. Dry and rub with seasoning included in B. Set in refrigerator for several hours or overnight.


(side note –  I didn’t let it marinate, I just rub it on the chicken and then just started cooking it, I forget this step when I make this dish and I need to plan ahead and let it marinate overnight, so plan ahead and I HIGHLY recommend letting the chicken marinate)

2-In a caldero


or heavy kettle, heat fat (I used vegetable oil)


brown rapidly salt pork


and ham.



Reduce heat to moderate, add chicken pieces, and cook for 5 minutes.



3- Reduce heat to low, add ingredients included in D,

onion, green pepper, 3 sweet chili peppers, 1 tomato, 6 cilantro leaves (chopped)




Normy approves!


and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4- Meanwhile, drain liquid from can peas into measuring cup and add enough water to measure 2 1/2 cups, if regular rice is used, or 3 1/2 cups, if long grain rice is used. Reserve peas. Heat liquid and reserve. – For this step I skipped the peas – I just added the water



5- Add to the kettle ingredients included in E and mix over moderate heat for 2 minutes.

1/2 teaspoon salt,

10 olives stuffed with pimento, (I LOVE green olives so I added more than the recipe called for)


1 tablespoon capers,



1/4 cup tomato sauce,


2 tablespoons fat or Achiote Coloring, (I used two of these packets, you can get them at king soopers, wal mart or spanish/latin grocery store)


3 cups rice



6- Add reserved hot liquid to kettle, mix well, and cook, uncovered, over moderate heat, until rice is dry.



7- With a fork, turn rice from bottom to top.


8- Cover kettle and cook over low heat for 40 minutes. Halfway during this cooking period, turn Rice over again.

9- Add peas, turn rice once more, cover, and cook for 15 minutes over low heat. (again I skipped this part and did not add the peas)

10- Spoon rice into a serving platter.

11- Heat pimento in their juice, drain, and garnish the rice. Serve at once. (I skipped the pimento part as well, I was going to add them, but there was already pimento in the olives, so I felt that was enough).




Here is that recipe for you again from the book:


4 thoughts on “Arroz con Pollo (Caribbean Rice with Chicken)

  1. I admire your desire to learn PR cooking. My future DIL is the same, and I have taught her so many great dishes & desserts that she is now the go to person for tembleque & flan. I taught her according to how I learned watching my mom and aunts, and when I married at 17, the Spanish version of your book, 1957 edition. I would suggest that as for rice, you use equal amounts of liquid to rice, adding maybe 1/4 cup more for long grain. I’ve cooked it for 48 years now and it’s really the only thing I measure… I would also suggest that to get the true PR flavor and look, you say goodbye to that envelope of sazon. Make your own achiote oil, and use banana leaves (Goya, frozen aisle) to cover the rice (not white) after you do the first stir.. Your husband will probably taste it and get that look in his eyes that we all get when we taste something from la Isla… If there was something I would remove from the market, or be grateful that i was never invented, it would be that sazon… read the label and you’ll see that it consists of chemicals you can’t even pronounce! Good luck in the future and if you need advice, I’d be happy to help out!!!

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