Spanish Chicken and Rice

Spanish tapa of rice with chicken over a wooden surface

Getty Images / Carlos Fernandez

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
519 Calories
29g Fat
26g Carbs
37g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 519
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 6g 32%
Cholesterol 106mg 35%
Sodium 325mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 37g
Vitamin C 40mg 199%
Calcium 42mg 3%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 612mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Arroz con pollo or Spanish chicken and rice is a standard main course in homes across Spain and Latin America (where its preparation varies country by country). It is considered comfort food for many Spanish speakers, and mainly why it is so popular is because it is tasty and easy to prepare!

There are many different versions of arroz con pollo (depending on whose grandmother is cooking). This recipe is a basic version perfect for those new to Spanish cooking to start with. Serve alongside an Ensalada de Pepino (Cucumber Salad).


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Start by patting the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with salt, pepper, and minced garlic

  3. In a large and heavy frying pan or skillet, heat the olive oil until very hot (but not smoking). Sear the chicken pieces on each side, allowing them to brown. Reserve the par-cooked chicken on a dish. 

  4. To the same pan, add the diced tomato, onion and pepper and sauté in olive oil (add another tablespoon if necessary). When the onion is translucent (about 8 minutes), add the rice and paprika, and sauté for about one minute, stirring constantly and making sure to coat all of the grains with oil. 

  5. Add the chicken broth and turmeric, if desired. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat.

  6. Add back the chicken pieces and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes until the rice is cooked and almost all liquid has disappeared.

  7. Uncover and turn up the heat, until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid and you hear that the bottom of the rice is starting to crisp. 

  8. Remove from the heat and let the rice rest for about five minutes. Then stir the dish and serve immediately. 

  9. Enjoy!

Recipe Variations

  • If you like, infuse the chicken stock with a pinch of saffron.
  • Arroz con pollo can also be enhanced using other vegetables in the recipe—it is common to add fresh peas, artichokes, and large broad beans to the recipe. Feel free to experiment until you find your favorite combination. 
  • Instead of using a whole chicken, you can also substitute a mix of 10 pre-cut chicken pieces. Legs and thighs work well for this recipe because they are small and easy to stir.