Arroz Con Pollo

Arroz con pollo is a traditional Panamanian dish; we serve it often at parties and gatherings.  The combination is great and it serves a lot!  There are many variations to the dish and once you begin making it, you can tweak it to your preferenc and find which works for you.  My method is quick and still brings a ton of flavor and most importantly; serves a crowd!  Adjust the seasonings as you go by adding more or less of what ingredients you prefer.  Remember recipes are a base for something great; allow your imagination to flow!

Arroz con pollo1


  • 2 cups white rice (long grain)
  • 2-3 chicken breasts
  • Adobo seasoning
  • Garlic powder
  • Sazon Goya with achiote
  • 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Cilantro
  • 3 Tbsp. sofrito (recipe on previous post)
  • ½ cup onions, chopped
  • ½ cup bell peppers, chopped
  • ½ cup carrots, finely grated
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. capers
  • Salt & Pepper  
  • Banana leaves (optional)
  • *Annatto seed oil (optional)



Add about 3 cups of water (more or less depending on the size of your chicken breasts) to a pot and bring to a boil.  Add adobo, garlic powder and sazon Goya and add the chicken breasts allow the chicken to cook about 10-15 minutes.  Once the chicken is almost fully cooked, remove from the water, let cool and begin shredding.  Save the water, you will use it to make the rice.

Place your caldera or preferred pot for making rice over medium heat and add 2 Tbsp. of annatto oil (or regular olive oil) along with the onion, bell pepper, carrots, garlic and sofrito.  Add a tablespoon or so of Adobo seasoning along with salt and pepper; sauté for 3-4 minutes. 

Add the shredded chicken and stir for 2-3 minutes.  If you need to add another tablespoon of oil do so at this point.  Add the rice, garlic powder and the reserved water, just to cover the rice and chicken.  Add salt and pepper to taste, along with the sazon Goya (for color).  Add the capers and cilantro.  This is a good point to taste the water and see if you need additional seasonings.  Allow the rice and chicken to boil until the water is almost evaporated then cover with the banana leave(s) and cover tightly with lid.  Cook on low heat for 25-30 minutes, timing will depend on how much you’re cooking.

Arroz con pollo2

This dish can be made as flavorful as you like, adjust the seasonings to your preference.  I prefer to add whole cilantro sprigs, this way I can remove them once the rice is cooked.   The banana leaves are completely optional however, they add amazing flavor and moisture to the rice. 

Serve with a yummy veggie salad and fried plantains (recipe on previous post).  Buen Provecho!

*Side Note:  Annatto Seed Oil: Take 8-12 annatto seeds and cook them briefly in 2 tbsp olive oil until the color is released.  Then remove the seed and use the oil to sauté the veggies.  This creates another dimension of flavor in the rice.


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