Arroz con Pollo with Chorizo

Fall has finally arrived and with it my desire to cook lots of hearty, warm meals has returned. Rather than rely on the same old dishes I’ve been making for years, I’ve been making a real effort to add some new recipes to the dinner and leftovers lineup. So far, this arroz con pollo with chorizo has been one of the best new meals I’ve made. And it’s pretty easy to pull together as well!

Ironically I work for a Spanish food retailer and had never made arroz con pollo until a month or so ago. I’ve made paella several times and while I do like paella, it’s a bit time consuming. I’m also not completely in love with saffron. So, for both of those reasons, paella isn’t something I want to frequently make for dinner. This arroz con pollo solves the paella time and saffron issues for me as it uses a lot of the same types of ingredients (but no saffron!) and takes a lot less time to prepare. The first time I made this recipe, it was on the table in an hour from start to finish. Plus a lot of that time is actually just the time it takes for the rice to cook.

The night I made this dish, I didn’t set out to make arroz con pollo. I had a package of chicken breasts in the fridge and needed a recipe for them as I wanted to try something new. After a little Internet searching, I went to Simply Recipes to take a look at the chicken recipes on the site. Arroz con pollo wasn’t too far down the list, it looked fantastic and I had all of the ingredients in the recipe on hand.

But I had a few more ingredients to throw into the pan as well (as I usually do since it’s hard for me to make a recipe as it’s written). When I described the dish to my husband as being paellaish, he demanded that I add some chorizo to it. While I was at it, I added a red bell pepper. And then, to make it even more like paella, I added some peas. So really I guess my version of arroz con pollo is essentially chicken and sausage paella with no saffron and less time in the kitchen.

Regardless of what it really is or is not, arroz con pollo is delicious and easy to make. It’s also great for leftovers and as autumn creeps in, it’s a nice warm meal for a cold night.

Arroz con Pollo with Chorizo

Recipe very slightly adapted from

Serves 6

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 skin-on boneless chicken breasts, each breast cut in half (you can use skinless if you really want to do so)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
3 links Spanish-style cooking chorizo, diced
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups jasmine rice
2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 can (14 oz) diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup frozen peas

1. Mix flour with sweet paprika and a liberal amount of salt and ground black pepper. Dredge each chicken breast piece in the flour mixture and set aside.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan (preferably one with a tight fitting lid) over medium high heat. When oil is shimmering in pan, add chicken breasts and cook for about 3 minutes on each side. Chicken should be brown but will not be cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

3. Add diced chorizo to pan and cook for 4-5 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from pan and set aside.

4. Add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and rice to the pan to brown. Stir rice to coat in oil and let the rice brown lightly for 3-4 minutes.

5. Add onion, red bell pepper and garlic to rice mixture. Cook for about 4 minutes until onions and peppers have softened, stirring occasionally.

6. Stir in cooked chorizo and diced tomatoes.

7. Nestle chicken pieces in pan, skin-side up, on top of the rice and vegetable mixture.

8. Stir together stock, salt and oregano. Pour mixture over rice and chicken in pan.

9. Bring liquid to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cover pan. Cook for 20 minutes.

10. After 20 minutes of cooking, remove cover and gently mix in frozen peas. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, until rice, chicken and peas are all cooked and liquid has evaporated.

11. Let sit covered for 10 minutes.

12. Before serving, remove chicken from pan and fluff rice

About the contributor:

Melissa McKelvey shares her recipes and adventures on her website, The Boastful Baker. She also writes the Bites and Morsels column here on Indie Fixx, which appears bimonthly on Mondays. Read more about her on the contributors’ page.