One-Pot Arroz con Pollo is a dream of a dish. Easy to put together, it cooks mostly unattended in a Dutch oven, and it is loaded with bold flavors. I could eat the entire batch by myself, but The Artist was happy to share it with me LOL.
This recipe is from the new cookbook from Jackie Alpers, Taste of Tucson, a charming exploration of the foods of Tucson and Southern Arizona. She dives into the multicultural influences that make the food so unique and tantalizing. In addition to her own creations, she worked with local chefs, introducing us to some of the superstars and their favorite recipes.
I’m glad I chose the One-Pot Arroz con Pollo recipe for today’s post. Simple to make, packed with tons of flavor, and perfectly filling. It takes under an hour to make because you use boneless chicken, speeding up the traditional process. It is wonderful on the day it is made and equally delicious as leftovers the next day.
I was intrigued by a new-to-me ingredient in this version. No surprise, I’ve fallen in love with the salsa de chile fresco and am glad that it came in a set of 6 cans when I ordered it from mexgrocer.com – I can see it in all kinds of dishes! It is spicy hot but the flavors are incredible. When combined with the stock, wine, and rice, it is the perfect level of heat for me.
I have another arroz con pollo recipe on the blog, but this has a different flavor profile and is absolutely delightful. And what the heck, you can never have too many chicken recipes, am I right?! I used chicken breasts because they were what I had in the freezer, but thighs would be just as delicious and helps avoid over cooking.
I went through the cookbook, excited to find a sample recipe to share with you. I found a ton I want to try and had trouble narrowing it down. Here are some of the other recipes that caught my eye:
- Seis Kitchen’s Chicken Taquitos
- Fiesta Rice
- Adobo Pulled Pork
- Chile Colorado Beef over Sonoran-Style Enchiladas
- Eggs Diablo
- Green and Red Enchilada Sauces
- Sonoran-Style Pico de Gallo
- Coctel de Camarones (Sonoran-Style Shrimp Cocktail)
- Charro Beans
- Modern Chiles Rellenos
- Crema de Aguacate (Cream of Avocado Soup)
- Red Pozole
Can you tell that I am smitten with this cookbook? I can’t wait to dive deeper in and make these fascinating recipes! I love that Jackie helps us explore the cuisine of a lesser known part of the country, the Sonoran area of the southwest surrounding Tucson. It is reportedly the birthplace of the chimichanga, one of the great recipes in the book!
I hope you give this One-Pot Arroz con Pollo recipe a try and pick up a copy of Taste of Tucson. I know you’ll be as delighted with it as I am!
Key Ingredients for One-Pot Arroz con Pollo:
- Chicken thighs
- Arborio rice
- Onion, garlic, chile powder, oregano, and cayenne
- Red wine, chicken broth, chicken bouillon, and red wine vinegar
- Salsa de chile fresco (spicy tomato sauce)
- Frozen peas and carrots
- Cotija cheese
I don’t care for spicy foods, what can I do to adjust the heat?
The recommended tomato sauce is pretty spicy (I love it), but may be too much for some people. In that case you can season plain tomato sauce to your liking. You can approximate the flavor by adding mild chilies, onion, garlic, salt, and your favorite herbs to taste.
The recipe calls for red chile powder – you can use chili powder, but if you can find it, use something like ancho chili powder, New Mexico chili powder, or other similar single chili powder. You can control the spiciness of the dish with your chili choices. (I like Whole Spice to order from.) Be sure to taste the salsa de chile fresco tomato sauce (if using) and make adjustments with the amounts and kind of chili powders you use.
If you don’t have access to Cotija cheese, you can use Parmesan or Feta in its place. Parmesan is probably closer to the original flavor but Feta would be a nice change of pace if you like it and have it on hand.
How to make One-Pot Arroz con Pollo:
- Sauté the chicken and onions in butter and set the chicken to the side
- Add the rice and more butter to the same pan, cooking just until lightly browned
- Deglaze the pan with wine, then add the broth, chicken bouillon and garlic; simmer until nearly absorbed
- Add the salsa (spicy tomato sauce), vinegar, peas and carrots, and seasonings along with remaining broth; return chicken to the pot, cover, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 30 to 35 minutes
- Stir in the cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper; serve in wide shallow bowls sprinkled with additional cheese if desired
Kitchen Tools I Use to Make This Recipe (affiliate links):
The website for Walker Foods, the producer of the El Pato brand states that their products are gluten-free! If you are concerned, you could approximate the flavor by adding chilies, onion, garlic, salt, and seasonings you like to a can of regular tomato sauce you trust. Warm it and let the seasonings blend together for a bit before using in the recipe.
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 cups diced white onion
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup spicy red wine, such as Malbec
- 4 cups chicken broth, divided
- 1 tsp granulated chicken-flavored bouillon, preferably Knorr brand
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (8-oz) can salsa de chile fresco, preferably El Pato brand
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
- 1 tbsp red chile powder
- 1 tbsp dried Mexican oregano
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup crumbled Cotija cheese, plus more for serving
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven, melt 1 tbsp of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs and onion and cook until the chicken is browned, about 4 minutes on each side. The onion will soften. Remove the chicken, leaving the onion in the pan, and set aside. Add the rice and remaining 1 tbsp of butter, then sauté until the rice is lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
- Add the wine and use a wooden spoon to dislodge the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add 2 cups of the broth, the chicken-flavored bouillon, and the garlic. Simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes.
- Add the salsa, vinegar, peas and carrots, chile powder, oregano, cayenne, and the remaining 2 cups broth. Stir, then return the browned chicken to the pot with its juices. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot, and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Stir in the Cotija cheese. Season to taste with the salt and black pepper. Spoon the rice over the chicken pieces and serve in wide shallow bowls sprinkled with additional cheese.
Recipe from Taste of Tucson by Jackie Alpers, courtesy of West Marion Press © 2020
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 256Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 814mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 19g
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I received a copy of Taste of Tucson for review but did not receive any other compensation for this post. As always, all opinions are my own.