Arroz con Pollo is a simple dish. I’ve heard it called the “Mac and Cheese or Pot Roast” of the Latin world. Every family has a recipe and every kid will tell you that their mother’s is the best. I personally think my wife’s version is the best, but feel free to disagree with me. I’m sure that if this dish is made in your family, it’s pretty good too. (But my wife’s is still better and you’ll never convince me otherwise!)
My wife’s first husband was Puerto Rican and this dish is made in the Puerto Rican style as taught to my wife from his mother. It was my first experience with Puerto Rican cooking, but I have to say that now I’m hooked and I get my wife to make any of the foods she learned there whenever possible. (When I’m not hogging the kitchen, that is.)
The combination of chicken, rice, capers, olives and spices in this version is nothing like the Mexican Arroz con Pollo I grew up around. for one thing, Puerto Rican cooking isn’t all that spicy heat-wise. In fact most of their condiments are very mild. The Mexican version will knock your socks off in some cases. I much prefer this one and I hope you enjoy it, even if your mother’s is better. (And of course it is, it’s Mom’s!)
This recipe has been adapted to use several over-the counter sauces and bases, as we cannot get some of the ingredients called for in this part of the U.S. without ordering them online at a premium. I’ve linked the ingredients we use to online stores where you can find them if they’re not available in your local area.
Caribbean Chicken and Rice (Arroz con Pollo) Recipe
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 407Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 3858mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 22g
What we do differently every time:
The recipe as it is written produces a thick char on the bottom of the caldera that Puerto Ricans call pagau. Pagau is considered a delicacy in Puerto Rico, but neither my wife or I much care for it, so instead of stirring the rice just once, we stir three times and then allow the rice to steam off the heat for a bit. This method does change the texture of the rice, but not the flavor, and it makes cleaning the pan a whole heck of a lot easier, too.
If making the dish for a group of Puerto Ricans, I would suggest making the recipe as written and then standing back away from the caldero. There will be fighting over the pagau.
Links to other recipes like this:
- Mom’s Arroz con Pollo, from Bitchincamero
- Arroz con Pollo Recipe, from Simply Recipes
- Arroz con Pollo, from Laylita’s Recipes