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Arroz con Pollo

Serves 4-6

A staple in many Latin American kitchens, arroz con pollo combines inexpensive ingredients-chicken, rice, and spices. Much the way paella is a malleable peasant food, arroz con pollo is also a malleable chicken dish you can switch up based on what you have in the fridge and pantry.

We bring this recipe up a few notches on the healthy scale using organic chicken which allows you to keep the skin on and enjoy and working with whole grain brown rice instead of the usual white. Sazón spice is tasty, but not easy to find on store shelves. Our do-it-yourself recipe can be easily put together using common spices likely already in your pantry.


• 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems, chopped
• ½ onion, chopped (1 cup)
• 1 Anahiem chili pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
• 5 garlic cloves, chopped coarse
• 1 tsp ground cumin
• ½ cup mayonnaise
• 3 ½ TBS lemon juice (1-2 lemons), plus lemon wedges for serving
• Salt and pepper
• 6 bone-in organic chicken thighs
• 1 TBS olive oil
• ¼ cup white wine
• 2 cups whole-grain brown rice, rinsed
• 1 tablespoon Goya Sazón (recipe follows)
• 2 ½ cups chicken broth
• 2 bay leaves


1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Process cilantro, 1/2 cup onion, Anahiem chili pepper, garlic, and cumin in food processor until finely chopped, about 20 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed. Transfer sofrito to bowl.

2. Process mayonnaise, 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons sofrito in now-empty processor until almost smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer mayonnaise-herb sauce to small bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

3. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add chicken to pot skin side down and cook without moving it until skin is crispy and golden, 7 to 9 minutes. Flip chicken and continue to cook until golden on second side, 7 to 9 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to plate.

4. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from pot and place over medium heat. Deglaze the pan with the ¼ cup of white wine. Add remaining ½ cup onion and cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in rice and Sazón and cook until edges of rice begin to turn translucent, about 2 minutes.

5. Stir in broth, bay leaves, remaining sofrito, remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper, scraping up any browned bits. Nestle chicken into pot along with any accumulated juices and bring to vigorous simmer. Cover, transfer to oven, and bake for 30 minutes.

6. Transfer pot to wire rack and let stand, covered, for 15 minutes. Fluff rice with fork. Discard bay leaves. Using a slotted spoon, serve with the chilled mayonnaise-herb sauce from step 2 and lemon wedges.


• Allow the rice to rest for the full 15 minutes before lifting the lid to check it.
• Air this with a Cabernet that has hints of black cherry, currents and/or black berries.

Simple Sazón Spice Blend

• 1 tsp garlic powder
• ¾ tsp salt
• ½ tsp paprika
• ½ tsp ground coriander
• ¼ tsp ground cumin

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Makes about 1 tablespoon

Tom Mehren/July 2022

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