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Mama’s Puerto Rican Hen and Rice

Mama’s Puerto Rican Hen and Rice


All my life I’ve liked my Mother’s rice and beans. As most of , my mother is full Puerto Rican and so are my grandparents. After I was younger, we principally lived off rice and beans. Don’t get me incorrect, my mother made tons of of recipes, however that was the one I remembered essentially the most.

Years later, I found that cooking from your individual heritage was a good way to faucet into your roots, create nostalgia and bear in mind these particular moments with your loved ones.

This Puerto Rican rooster and rice recipe is simply a type of comforting, nostalgic ones that I come again to time and time once more. I like this recipe as a result of all the pieces is made in a single pan, is simple to prepare dinner, surprises folks with its distinctive, scrumptious taste and is ideal for meal prep.

Now it’s vital to keep in mind that everybody’s model of arroz con pollo is completely different — that’s the good half about cooking is which you could actually make it your individual. That is our tackle it, and one I do know you’re going to like!

Puerto Rican chicken and rice in a skillet pan garnished with cilantro and lime

What’s arroz con pollo?

Arroz con pollo actually interprets to “rice with rooster” in Spanish. It’s a standard dish in Spain and Latin America and is one which I grew up on due to my Puerto Rican grandparents and mother! The rooster and rice are cooked in a single pan or pot with an exquisite mix of spices and a do-it-yourself sofrito.

Every thing you’ll must make Puerto Rican rooster & rice

You’re going to LOVE how scrumptious and nourishing this recipe is. My mother’s specific Puerto Rican tackle arroz con pollo entails a couple of particular twists:

  • Hen: I like to make use of boneless, skinless rooster thighs as a result of they’ve the very best taste.
  • Do-it-yourself adobo seasoning: you’re going to toss the rooster in adobo seasoning, which consists of 9 scrumptious spices (together with salt & pepper).
  • Do-it-yourself sofrito: We’re making the holy trinity of taste right here and the bottom for many Puerto Rican dishes: inexperienced bell pepper, cilantro (or culantro if you’ll find it!) and onion. Then you definitely’ll add your sazon spices and tomato sauce and say howdy to DELICIOUSNESS.
  • Do-it-yourself sazon: sazon is a extremely fashionable Puerto Rican spice and I like making it from scratch with this recipe! It flavors the rice SO a lot and pulls the entire dish collectively.
  • Tomato sauce: you’ll additionally want some tomato sauce (and water) to prepare dinner the rice with the sofrito.
  • Rice: I like utilizing white basmati rice due to how fluffy the rice will get.
  • Peas: inexperienced pigeon peas are one among my favourite issues. Sadly, they are often tough to search out. I sometimes buy them within the Hispanic part of my grocery retailer, head to our native Hispanic retailer, or buy off Amazon. Don’t fear although — if you wish to use frozen peas as an alternative that’s completely an choice and normally what I do as a result of I typically have them available.

arroz con pollo in a pan garnished with cilantro and lime

Can I swap the rice?

I extremely advocate utilizing white basmati rice for the very best texture, however you would additionally use cauliflower rice or 2/3 cup quinoa. I’d NOT advocate utilizing brown rice as a result of it takes for much longer to prepare dinner.

How you can make one pan Puerto Rican rooster and rice

  1. Marinate your rooster. Begin by tossing your rooster in a bowl with olive oil and the adobo spices. Cowl and let the rooster marinate for a minimum of half-hour.
  2. Brown the rooster. Subsequent, brown the rooster in a massive skillet with olive oil by cooking it for about 4-5 minutes on every. Switch the rooster to a plate
  3. Make the sofrito. In the identical skillet add the garlic, jalapeño, inexperienced pepper, onion and cilantro and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the sazon spices and prepare dinner for 30 seconds, then stir within the tomato sauce and water.
  4. Add the rice. Convey the combination to a simmer, then fold within the rice, peas, and olives (if utilizing). Add your browned rooster on prime.
  5. Simmer & serve. Cut back the warmth to low, cowl the skillet, and let all the pieces prepare dinner for about 20-25 minutes till the rice is absolutely cooked. Garnish with cilantro and a squeeze of recent lime juice and serve!

one pan Puerto Rican chicken rice and peas in a pan garnished with cilantro and limes

Serving & storing ideas

  • To serve: this arroz con pollo recipe is ideal for serving a crowd as a result of you possibly can simply double the recipe.
  • To retailer: merely retailer any leftover rooster & rice in hermetic containers within the fridge for as much as 4-5 days. This recipe is ideal for meal prep!

arroz con pollo in a meal prep container garnished with cilantro

Extra household recipes to strive

Get all of my globally-inspired recipes right here!

In the event you make this Puerto Rican rooster and rice recipe be certain and tag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram or go away a remark beneath and charge it so I can understand how you appreciated it.  Thanks for being right here — have a beautiful week! xo.

Mama’s Puerto Rican Hen and Rice (Arroz con Pollo)

puerto rican chicken and rice in a skillet

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook dinner Time 20 minutes

Complete Time 40 minutes

Serves4 servings

My mama’s well-known Puerto Rican rooster and rice, also called arroz con pollo, is made in a single pan with do-it-yourself adobo seasoned rooster sofrito and savory rice. This comforting dish is simple to make and the proper nourishing weeknight meal. You will make this recipe many times!


  • For the rooster:
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 ½ kilos boneless skinless rooster thighs
  • For the adobo seasoning:
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon purple cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly floor black pepper
  • For the sofrito & rice:
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup finely diced inexperienced pepper
  • ¼ cup finely diced white onion
  • ¼ cup finely diced cilantro
  • Non-obligatory: 1 jalapeno, diced
  • ¼ teaspoon floor coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon floor turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 cup basmati white rice (don’t use brown, it would take too lengthy to prepare dinner)**
  • cup frozen peas (or rinsed and drained pigeon peas)
  • OPTIONAL: ½ cup pitted inexperienced olives


  • Add rooster to a big bowl. Add in 1 tablespoon olive oil and your adobo seasoning: cumin, paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, coriander, salt and pepper. Use clear fingers to toss the rooster within the combination. Cowl and permit rooster to marinate for half-hour, or you possibly can skip this fully and start the cooking course of!

  • Subsequent add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to a big deep 10 inch skillet and place over medium excessive warmth. (In the event you should not have a skillet a big pot will even work very effectively!) As soon as oil is scorching, add in rooster and season with somewhat extra salt and pepper. Cook dinner till browned 4-5 minutes, then flip and and prepare dinner an extra 4-5 minutes. Take away from pan and switch to a plate.

  • In the identical skillet (it needs to be greased sufficient already for sauteing) you’ll make your sofrito by including in garlic, jalapeno, diced inexperienced pepper, diced onion and cilantro. 

  • Saute for 2-3 minutes, then add in your spices (also called do-it-yourself sazon spices): cumin, turmeric, coriander, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper and prepare dinner for 30 seconds. Then add in tomato sauce and water and stir effectively to mix. 

  • Convey to a simmer then fold within the rice, peas and olive (if utilizing) ensuring they’re evenly distributed. Add browned rooster on prime.

  • Cut back warmth to low, cowl the skillet instantly and prepare dinner for 20-25 minutes.

  • After 20-25 minutes, many of the liquid needs to be absorbed and rice needs to be cooked. Serve instantly. Garnish with cilantro and serve with a squeeze of recent lime juice.

  • To meal prep: This meal serves 4. Place rice in a meal prep containers and prime with 1 rooster thigh. Garnish with cilantro.

Recipe Notes

Don’t use brown rice. It takes quite a bit longer to prepare dinner and I’d NOT advocate it. Cauliflower rice works effectively on this recipe.
If you’re on the lookout for a grain different, I’d advocate subbing about 2/3 cup quinoa. The cooking time and liquid ratio will keep the identical.


Serving: 1servingEnergy: 485calCarbohydrates: 46.8gProtein: 37.6gFats: 18.8gSaturated Fats: 4.1gFiber: 4.6gSugar: 5g

This submit was initially revealed on April sixteenth, 2018, republished on March twelfth, 2022, and republished on October fifteenth, 2023.



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