2000s Recipes + Menus

Arroz con Pollo (Cuban Chicken with Rice)

  • Active time:1 hr
  • Start to finish:2 1/2 hr
September 2007
Staff photographer Romulo Yanes knows arroz con pollo—his mother, Caridad Yanes Nieblas, made it often. This version, based on her recipe, creates a very moist rice, infused with intensely flavorful chorizo and a generous amount of beer, which contributes a malty tang. We’ve removed the skin from the chicken to help the garlicky marinade penetrate the meat.

For marinating chicken

  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
  • 4 chicken breast halves with bone, halved crosswise
  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 4 chicken thighs

For rice

  • 3 oz Spanish chorizo (cured sausage), skin discarded and sausage cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon annatto oil or olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
  • 1 lb tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 (12-oz) bottle beer (not dark)
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice (14 oz)
  • 1/4 cup drained rinsed bottled pimiento or roasted red-pepper strips

Marinate chicken:

  • Mince and mash garlic to a paste with 2 teaspoons salt, then transfer to a large bowl. Stir in vinegar and oregano.
  • Remove skin and excess fat from chicken, then toss chicken with marinade until coated and marinate, covered and chilled, at least 1 hour.

Cook chicken and rice:

  • Cook chorizo in annatto oil in a 6- to 7-quart heavy pot (12 inches wide) over medium-high heat, stirring, until some fat is rendered, 2 to 3 minutes. Add onions, bell pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add cumin, oregano, paprika, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and bay leaves and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  • Add chicken with marinade to chorizo mixture and cook, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring frequently, 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beer, broth, and rice and bring to a boil, making sure rice is submerged.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover mixture directly with a round of parchment or wax paper and cover pot with a tight-fitting lid. Cook, stirring once or twice, until rice is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Discard parchment paper and bay leaves, then scatter pimiento strips over rice.
Cooks’ note: Chicken can be marinated up to 2 hours.
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