Delicious Arroz Con Pollo Valenciana Recipe

People often say that good food can transport you to another place – and that’s exactly what this recipe does. Arroz con pollo valenciana, a classic dish hailing from Latin America, is a hearty and flavorful chicken and rice meal that has become a staple in many households across the world. This recipe is my take on the famous Cuban recipe from Columbia Restaurant, a site with several restaurants in the Tampa Bay area that serves delectable meals.

As soon as you add the saffron and chicken broth to the pot, the aroma will fill your senses and transport you straight to sunny Spain. The yellow rice mixed with succulent, juicy chicken thighs, baby green peas, onions, garlic, green pepper, and tomatoes all simmering together creates an explosion of flavors in your mouth. Each bite is filled with complex layers of savory goodness and a hint of saltiness.

Whether it’s for a weeknight dinner or for impressing guests at a party, this Pollo Valenciana recipe has some deep Latin American roots that can bring everyone together over one common love – food. It’s deliciously fulfilling and bursting with flavors that will take you on an endless journey across continents. Trust me; it was love at first taste when I made it for my family. Once you try it yourself, I guarantee you’ll be hooked too. So without further ado, let’s dive into this delicious recipe!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Arroz Con Pollo Valenciana  - Columbia Restaurant (Chicken &
Arroz Con Pollo Valenciana – Columbia Restaurant (Chicken &

Are you tired of the same old chicken dishes? Do you want to try something new and exciting that will bring a taste of Latin America to your table? Then look no further than arroz con pollo valenciana, a classic dish that is sure to impress.

This recipe, made famous by the Cuban Columbia Restaurant, is the ultimate comfort food. Tender chicken thighs are simmered in a flavorful broth with saffron rice, baby green peas, and a variety of vegetables including onions, green peppers, and tomatoes. The result is a satisfyingly savory and aromatic meal that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy.

What sets this recipe apart is its unique blend of spices and ingredients. Saffron, a key ingredient in this dish, gives the yellow rice its distinctive color and flavor. The addition of white wine and chicken broth enhances the depth of flavor even further. And don’t forget about the Spanish extra virgin olive oil – it not only adds richness but also brings out the flavors in the other ingredients.

Not only is this dish delicious, but it’s also incredibly easy to make. With just one pot and a few simple steps, you can have dinner on the table in no time. Plus, it’s versatile – feel free to substitute different vegetables or mix up the protein by using shrimp or chorizo instead of chicken.

In short, you’ll love this recipe because it’s packed with flavor, easy to make, and endlessly customizable. Give it a try for your next family dinner or dinner party – your taste buds will thank you!

Ingredient List

 A bowl of comfort featuring tender chicken, fluffy rice, and savory spices.
A bowl of comfort featuring tender chicken, fluffy rice, and savory spices.

Let’s take a look at the ingredients needed to recreate this classic dish popular throughout Latin America, including the famous Cuban Arroz con Pollo Valenciana from the Columbia Restaurant. Here are the ingredients you’ll need listed in order of use:

  • 2 teaspoons of saffron
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup of Spanish extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 3-pound chicken, cut into quarters or chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups of long-grain white rice
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A few strands of saffron (optional)
  • One can baby green peas

Make sure you have all your ingredients ready before starting with the pollo Arroz con Pollo.

The Recipe How-To

 This Arroz Con Pollo Valenciana is a meal that tastes like a hug from abuela.
This Arroz Con Pollo Valenciana is a meal that tastes like a hug from abuela.

Preparing the Chicken

  1. First, take 1 1/3 pound of chicken and cut it into quarters. I suggest using fryer chickens for their tender and juicy meat.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  3. Brown the chicken pieces on all sides for about 5 minutes per side. This will help to lock in the juices and give the chicken a nice golden color.
  4. Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside.

Sauteing the Vegetables

  1. In the same pot, add 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped green pepper, and 6 minced garlic cloves.
  2. Saute the vegetables until they are translucent for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add 2 chopped tomatoes to the pot and cook until they have softened.

Cooking the Rice

  1. Add 2 cups of long-grain white rice into the pot with the sauteed vegetables and stir to combine.
  2. Add 4 cups of chicken broth, 1 bay leaf, and 2 teaspoons of salt to the pot.
  3. Bring everything to a boil then reduce heat to low simmer.
  4. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and cook for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender.

Combined Everything Together

  1. Once rice is cooked, add back in chicken into pot then add in a pinch of saffron threads that have been dissolved in 1/4 cup of white wine for a subtle but amazing flavor boost!
  2. Then add in 1 cup of baby green peas which add color as well as an added sweetness and texture to your dish.
  3. Stir everything together until it is evenly mixed together.
  4. Cover the pot again with a tight-fitting lid then let it simmer on low-heat for another 5-10 minutes till everything has combined together, the chicken is fully cooked and the rice has absorbed all the flavors.

Congratulations! Your classic, delicious and saucy Arroz con Pollo Valenciana is now ready to be enjoyed.

Substitutions and Variations

 A Spanish-inspired dish with a tropical twist that will transport your senses to a sunny beach.
A Spanish-inspired dish with a tropical twist that will transport your senses to a sunny beach.

While Arroz Con Pollo Valenciana is a classic dish in Latin America, there are many ways to make this recipe your own. Here are a few substitutions and variations you can try:

– Vegetarian: If you want to make this dish vegetarian, simply omit the chicken and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. You can also add in some additional vegetables like zucchini, eggplant or mushrooms to give it more depth.

– Pressure Cooker: For a quicker version of this recipe, you can use a pressure cooker instead of cooking the chicken on the stove. Simply cook the onions, garlic, tomatoes, and peppers on the sauté setting before adding the rice, saffron, and chicken broth. Then cook on high pressure for 10 minutes before adding in the cooked chicken and peas.

– Paella: Another variation of this recipe is paella, which is a Spanish dish similar to Arroz con Pollo Valenciana. The main difference is that paella has other seafood like shrimp or clams in addition to chicken.

– Spicier: Want to give this recipe some heat? Add in some jalapeños or chili powder for some extra spice.

– Different Rice: While long-grain white rice is traditional for Arroz Con Pollo Valenciana, feel free to experiment with different types of rice like jasmine, basmati or brown rice. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly!

No matter how you choose to make your Arroz Con Pollo Valenciana, it’s sure to be a delicious dinner recipe that will transport you straight to Latin America.

Serving and Pairing

 A one-pot wonder that's perfect for busy weeknights and cozy Sunday suppers alike.
A one-pot wonder that’s perfect for busy weeknights and cozy Sunday suppers alike.

Arroz con Pollo Valenciana is a classic dish of Latin America, and its savory flavors make it a perfect main course for dinner. This chicken and rice recipe brings together exceptional flavors that will appeal to anyone looking for a hearty meal with a touch of spiciness.

To enhance the authenticity of this recipe, traditional Colombian-style green peas are added to round out the dish’s delicious flavors. The texture of baby green peas perfectly complements the soft and tender chicken pieces in the dish. You can sprinkle some fresh cilantro on top of the dish before serving, which adds an extra layer of zip and tanginess to your meal.

When paired with a glass of crisp white wine or a chilled beer, you can enjoy the full-bodied flavors of Arroz Con Pollo Valenciana. However, if you prefer non-alcoholic drinks such as iced tea or lemonade, they complement this classic meal exceptionally well.

This rice and chicken recipe pairs well with vegetable sides as well. You could serve it with roasted bell peppers, steamed broccoli or asparagus, or even a light tossed salad with vinaigrette dressing. These sides complement the meal’s bold flavors without overwhelming them.

For those who want to continue their culinary journey, this dish pairs well with other classic Latin American recipes like paella or saffron rice dishes. You could also try serving it alongside traditional Cuban arroz y salado (yellow rice) for a truly authentic experience.

Whether you’re hosting an intimate family dinner or having a larger gathering with friends, Arroz Con Pollo Valenciana is an ideal choice that everyone will enjoy. This recipe is sure to become one of your go-to dinner recipes thanks to its bold flavors that remind you of meals from Columbia Restaurant in Tampa, FL.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 You won't believe how easy it is to make this classic Latin American dish at home.
You won’t believe how easy it is to make this classic Latin American dish at home.

This Arroz Con Pollo Valenciana dish is definitely one that can be made ahead of time, as it reheats really well. You’ll find that the flavors only intensify as they sit together, so if you’re entertaining guests, this could be a great recipe to make in advance.

To prepare your Arroz con Pollo ahead of time, simply follow the recipe instructions through to adding the rice into the pot to cook. Once all the ingredients are combined and your chicken and rice have been cooking, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool down completely. Place it into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

When you’re ready to serve, reheat the Arroz Con Pollo on low heat on the stovetop or in a microwave-safe dish in the microwave. If you feel like your dish is too dry after reheating, add a splash of chicken stock to loosen it up before serving.

Arroz Con Pollo Valenciana is an easy dish to store as well. Simply place any leftovers into an airtight container and store it in your refrigerator for up to 3 days. Though it’s important to note that reheating rice multiple times can increase your risk of food poisoning. Therefore, it’s recommended to only reheat the amount you plan on eating once.

Overall, this classic Latin American dish is perfect for meal-prepping for busy weeknights, or just preparing ahead of time for dinner parties or gatherings. And with this recipe’s ability to be served hot and also cold as a side salad, you have endless pairing options eager to play host at your next meal!

Tips for Perfect Results

 From the colorful presentation to the rich flavors, this recipe is a feast for the eyes and the taste buds.
From the colorful presentation to the rich flavors, this recipe is a feast for the eyes and the taste buds.

When making arroz con pollo valenciana, there are a few key steps to keep in mind to ensure the perfect result. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind.

Firstly, be sure to use long-grain white rice for this recipe. This type of rice has less starch and allows the grains to remain separate and fluffy instead of clumping together. When measuring the rice, always use a measuring cup rather than eyeballing it, as accurate measurements are crucial for the success of this dish.

Secondly, infuse as much flavor into your dish as possible by using the broth from the chicken you cook to enhance the taste of the rice. The chicken broth not only adds flavor and richness to the dish but is also key to creating a smooth texture.

Moreover, sautéing the rice for 2 minutes before adding liquid brings out its natural nuttiness and adds depth to your dish’s final taste. You can also add extra flavor by sweating onions and garlic before mixing them with the rice.

Furthermore, let the dish simmer gently over low heat after adding all of the ingredients. For perfectly cooked yellow rice, don’t lift the lid or stir it during cooking. Remove from heat when all of the liquid has been absorbed, and let it sit covered for five minutes before serving.

Lastly, garnish your arroz con pollo valenciana generously with baby green peas or any other vegetable you like. These bring a nice balance of sweetness and freshness to your savory dish.

By following these tips carefully, you will end up with a delicious and authentic arroz con pollo valenciana that will transport you instantly to Latin America’s sunny beaches.


Now that you’ve learned everything about this classic dish from Latin America, you might still have a few questions about it. In this section, we’ll address some of the most commonly asked questions about Arroz Con Pollo Valenciana, its ingredients, and its preparation. Whether you’re new to this recipe or have cooked it before, stay tuned for some helpful tips and answers that will make your preparation process smoother and your dish even more delicious.

Which country has the best arroz con pollo?

One of Puerto Rico’s most beloved dishes is arroz con pollo, which is made using annatto oil and beer to create a yellow color and add flavor to the rice, much like how saffron is used in other rice-based recipes.

Is paella the same as arroz con pollo?

A popular Latin American dish, arroz con pollo, which means rice with chicken in Spanish, closely resembles the well-known dish paella. It typically involves cooking chicken and rice with onions, saffron, and a variety of other grains or vegetables.

What is the English translation of arroz con pollo?

A popular Spanish and Latin American dish known as “Arroz con pollo” directly translates to “rice with chicken.” It is a classic dish that has a variety of traditional methods to make it, which vary across different countries.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Arroz Con Pollo Valenciana, also known as Chicken and Yellow Rice, is a classic dish from Latin America that has been enjoyed by many for generations. It is a perfect meal to serve for a family dinner or a gathering. With its unique combination of flavors from saffron, chicken broth, and white wine, this dish will definitely be a crowd-pleaser that will leave everyone craving for more.

By following this recipe and using the ingredients mentioned in this article, you can make the famous Cuban Columbia Restaurant’s Arroz Con Pollo Valenciana at home with ease. You can also experiment with different substitutions and variations to suit your personal taste.

So why not give this recipe a go? Impress your loved ones or guests with your cooking skills and let them indulge in the goodness of this traditional dish. As they say in Spanish, “Buen provecho y salado!” (Enjoy your meal and good appetite!)

Arroz Con Pollo Valenciana - Columbia Restaurant (Chicken &

Arroz Con Pollo Valenciana - Columbia Restaurant (Chicken & Recipe

This is a recipe from the famous Cuban "Columbia Restuarant" site. There are several restaurants here in the Tampa area and a few other major Florida cities. My DS's girlfriend just loves this restaurant, so I looked online for their recipes and found them on their own site. Serve this along with the "Columbia Salad" recipe I posted, recipe#473755 for a true experience.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Calories 1226.9 kcal


  • 2 lbs fryer chickens, cut in quarters (4 chicken quarters)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice, uncooked
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup baby green pea (cooked)
  • 4 asparagus tips
  • 2 roasted red peppers, cut in strips
  • 1/4 cup white wine


  • In a skillet, sauté chicken in heated oil until skin is golden. Remove chicken and place in casserole dish. In same oil in the skillet, sauté onion, green pepper, tomatoes, and garlic for 5 minutes. Pour over chicken. In same skillet, add chicken broth, white wine, saffron, salt, bay leaf and rice. When mixture begins to boil, pour over casserole, cover and bake in oven at 350 for 20 minutes or until chicken is done. Sprinkle with a splash of wine and garnish with peas, roasted red peppers, and asparagus tips.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 775gCalories: 1226.9kcalCarbohydrates: 87.5gProtein: 76.1gFat: 60.2gSaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 199.8mgSodium: 1236.9mgFiber: 4.4gSugar: 6.7g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Caribbean, Chicken, Chicken Thigh & Leg, Cuban, Easy, Meat, Poultry
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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.