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An image of the arroz con pollo served in a terracotta bowl.

Arroz con Pollo

Arroz con Pollo is a traditional Cuban dish made with chicken and yellow rice. Like many Cuban dishes, it’s not fancy but it is hearty, soul-satisfying comfort food.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Cuban
Keyword arroz con pollo, chicken and yellow rice, chicken recipes, cuban chicken recipes, cuban food
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 505kcal
Author Elizabeth


  • 8 pieces Dark Meat Chicken bone in and skin on (about 2½-3 pounds)
  • 3 - 3½ teaspoons Salt divided
  • 4 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion finely diced
  • 3-4 Garlic Cloves minced
  • ½ teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • ½ teaspoon Paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon Turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon Cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • ¼ cup White Wine
  • 2 cups Long Grain White Rice
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 12 ounces Light Beer room temperature
  • 15 ounce can Sweet Peas drained, for garnish optional


Prep Work

  • Trim any excess fat from the chicken and season with 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • Add 1½ teaspoon of salt, oregano, paprika, turmeric, cumin and black pepper to a small bowl. Stir the seasoning mix to combine.

Brown the chicken

  • Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the chicken, skin side down. Cook the chicken for 5 minutes, then turn and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat. Remove the chicken from the pot and set on a plate or pan. Loosely cover the chicken with a piece of foil, to keep it warm.

Make the sofrito

  • Do not wash the pot. Set it back over medium heat and add the onions. Cook the onions for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the garlic, tomato paste and the prepared seasoning mix (1½ teaspoon of salt, oregano, paprika, turmeric, cumin and black pepper) to the pot. Stir well until combined. and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Carefully, add the white wine to the pot and stir, while gently scraping any bits off the bottom. Cook for 1 minute, or until most of the wine cooks out.

Make the arroz con pollo

  • Add the rice, chicken broth, water, and the bay leaf to the pot. Stir well to combine.
  • Add the chicken back to the pot. Arrange it so that it’s not stacked.
  • Raise the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Stir the rice frequently while waiting for the liquid to come to a boil.
  • Once boiling, lower the heat to medium and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • The rice should now be visible on the surface and should not sink to the bottom of the pot when stirred.
  • Give everything a good stir. Lower the heat to low, cover and cook the chicken and rice for 20 minutes. Stir after 10 minutes, then stir again after the 20 minutes.
  • Taste a little bit of the rice. If it needs a salt, this is the time to add it. As a reference, we added ½ teaspoon of salt to ours. Stir well.

Add the beer

  • Raise the heat to medium-low and slowly add the beer, while stirring. Cover and cook the chicken and rice for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to low and cook another 10 minutes.
  • Taste the rice, if it’s still not done, cover and let it steam another 15 minutes or until done.
  • Garnish with the sweet peas, if desired.


Calories: 505kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 1666mg | Potassium: 480mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1025IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 2mg