Delicious Arroz Con Pollo Recipe for Food Lovers

Do you find yourself craving a hearty, comforting meal that combines the flavors of Mexico and the Southwest United States? Look no further than this delicious recipe for New Mexico Chicken with Rice, also known as Arroz Con Pollo. With juicy chicken, fluffy rice, and a blend of savory spices, this dish is sure to satisfy your taste buds and leave you feeling satisfied.

As a chef specializing in Brazilian and American cuisine, I’ve always been drawn to the rich and bold flavors of Latin American cuisine. This recipe for New Mexico Chicken with Rice is inspired by the traditional Mexican dish of Arroz Con Pollo but adds some Southwestern flair with the addition of Paprika, chili powder, and red chili powder.

Whether you’re cooking for a family dinner or entertaining guests at a festive gathering, this recipe is perfect for any occasion. It’s easy to prepare and can be customized to your liking with substitutions and variations that I’ll cover in later sections.

So go ahead and give this recipe a try – I promise your taste buds won’t be disappointed!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

New Mexico  Chicken With Rice (Arroz Con Pollo)
New Mexico Chicken With Rice (Arroz Con Pollo)

Are you ready to be transported to the colorful streets of Mexico or the vibrant flavors of New Mexico? Look no further than this delicious and easy-to-make New Mexico Chicken with Rice (Arroz con Pollo) recipe!

This mouthwatering dish combines tender chicken thighs with aromatic spices such as paprika, garlic powder, and saffron, creating a symphony of bold flavors that will leave your taste buds dancing. The addition of red chili powder and chili powder gives it a spicy kick without overwhelming the dish, while tomatoes and onion add depth and texture.

But what sets this recipe apart is its perfect pairing with long-grain white rice. The rice is cooked in the same pot as the chicken, making it even easier to prepare without sacrificing flavor. Plus, the added touch of queso cheese sauce on top adds a creamy finish that will leave you craving for more.

This dish is perfect for busy weeknights or casual get-togethers. It’s a crowd-pleaser that will please even the pickiest eaters. And let’s not forget, this recipe brings together two cultures – Mexican and New Mexican – creating a fusion that’s uniquely satisfying!

So what are you waiting for? Try out this recipe now and transport yourself to the bold flavors of Mexico or the irresistible cuisine of New Mexico. You won’t be disappointed!

Ingredient List

 Savor the flavors of the Southwest in this hearty meal!
Savor the flavors of the Southwest in this hearty meal!

Here are the ingredients that you’ll need to prepare this delicious New Mexico Chicken With Rice (Arroz Con Pollo) dish:

Main ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes, drained

Seasonings and Spices:

  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • a pinch of saffron
  • 2 teaspoons of dried parsley flakes

Oil and Fat:

  • Olive oil

Make sure to check your pantry for these main ingredients, seasonings and spices. You may need to make additional stops at the grocery store.

The Recipe How-To

 Bite into tender chicken and perfectly cooked rice, all in one dish.
Bite into tender chicken and perfectly cooked rice, all in one dish.

Now, it’s time to follow the recipe and bring the New Mexico Chicken With Rice (Arroz Con Pollo) to life! Gather up all the required ingredients from the list below:

Ingredient List
For chicken:

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of red chili powder
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

For rice:

  • 2 cups of long-grain white rice
  • 3 cups of water or chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon of saffron threads
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can (14 oz) of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • salt and pepper

To serve:

  • fresh parsley flakes

Now, let’s dive into the recipe:

Step-by-Step Instructions
Seasoning the chicken:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Season chicken thighs with garlic powder, red chili powder, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil.
  4. Add chicken thighs skin side down until browned then flip over for another minute or two.
  5. Remove from skillet onto a plate.

Cooking the rice:

  1. In the same skillet used previously over medium heat, add onions and cook until tender.
  2. Add rice to skillet; stir frequently for about three minutes while toasting to give it a nutty flavor.
  3. Add in canned tomatoes with juice along with saffron threads, chili powder, paprika seasoning together with salt and pepper to taste; stir.
  4. Finally, add in broth or water and stir until everything is evenly mixed.


  1. In the same skillet, placed browned chicken thighs on top of the rice mixture.
  2. Cover with foil, put into the oven and bake for 45 – 50 minutes.


  1. Remove from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before removing the foil.
  2. Garnish with fresh parsley flakes and serve hot.

Tips and Tricks:

  • For an extra kick of flavor, cook the rice in chicken broth instead of water.
  • Substitute boneless chicken breast for chicken thighs.
  • To make a creamy version, add some cheese sauce or queso dip to your recipe while cooking.
  • This dish serves well with traditional sides like Cuban-style black beans or yellow Spanish rice.

Congratulations on making your first New Mexico Chicken With Rice (Arroz con Pollo) recipe!

Substitutions and Variations

 Warm up your taste buds with this zesty recipe.
Warm up your taste buds with this zesty recipe.

If you’re feeling experimental with the flavors of this recipe, there are some substitutions and variations you can make that will take your dish to the next level. Here are some options you may want to try:

– Chicken: Instead of using chicken thighs, you can use boneless chicken breasts or cubed chicken for a quicker cook time. You could also try shredded chicken for a different texture.

– Rice: While long-grain white rice is traditional, you could also try using brown rice or jasmine rice. For a Mexican twist, use yellow rice or Spanish rice instead.

– Spices: If you prefer less heat in your food, reduce the amount of chili powder and red chili powder or eliminate them entirely. Paprika is a great alternative for smoky flavor without the bite. You could also add cumin or oregano to enhance the overall flavor.

– Cheese sauce: Want to make it extra cheesy? Top your finished dish with queso blanco or use cheese sauce instead for added creaminess.

– Vegetables: To add even more depth to this dish, throw in diced bell peppers, corn, peas or canned tomatoes with green chilies.

No matter what substitutions and variations you choose to make, always remember to taste and adjust as necessary. Cooking is an art form, so don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with it!

Serving and Pairing

 Get ready for a fiesta in your mouth!
Get ready for a fiesta in your mouth!

If you love Mexican cuisine, then this New Mexico Chicken with Rice recipe is just the thing for you! The flavors of this dish are bold and intense, and will leave your taste buds feeling satisfied. In terms of serving and pairing, there are a lot of options to consider.

Firstly, you can serve this dish on its own, as it is packed with enough nutrients and flavors to be a standalone meal. However, if you want to make it more interesting, you can pair it with a few delicious side dishes. One great option is a fresh green salad with some avocado and lime dressing. The tanginess of the dressing cuts through the richness of the chicken and rice, creating a well-rounded meal.

Another great pairing option is some sweet cornbread or biscuits. You can also add some black beans or refried beans on the side for extra protein and fiber. If you’re feeling fancy, you can also serve this dish with some cheese sauce or queso fundido for dipping.

For drinks, you can never go wrong with a classic margarita or a refreshing glass of agua fresca (a fruity Mexican beverage). A cold beer or a glass of red wine also complements this recipe nicely.

One final tip – if you have any leftovers, they taste even better the next day! You can enjoy them as they are or use them as filling for burritos or tacos. The possibilities are endless!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 One pot wonder: an easy, delicious dinner with minimal clean-up.
One pot wonder: an easy, delicious dinner with minimal clean-up.

Preparing a large batch of New Mexico Chicken with Rice is a great idea when you’re entertaining family and friends or simply want to enjoy easy and delicious meals throughout the week. Fortunately, this recipe can easily be made ahead and stored for later consumption.

If you decide to make the dish in advance, it’s important to allow it to cool completely before placing it in an airtight container in the fridge. The dish should stay fresh for up to four days when stored properly. To reheat the dish, simply place it in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for 20 minutes or microwave for 2-3 minutes until hot all the way through. You may need to add a splash of water or chicken broth if the dish seems dry.

If you prefer freezing a portion of your New Mexico Chicken with Rice, follow these simple steps. Allow the dish to cool down, then transfer it to an airtight freezer-safe container. Remember to leave some headspace, as liquids tend to expand when frozen. Additionally, label your container with the date and contents, so you know what’s inside when you grab it from the freezer at a later date.

You can store this meal in the freezer for up to three months without worrying about affecting its flavor or texture. When ready to enjoy again, thaw the dish in your fridge overnight and reheat following similar instructions as refrigerated ones.

However, I would not recommend storing leftovers multiple times as it might lead to spoilage and foodborne illnesses. Also, reheating delicate proteins like chicken repeatedly can lead to dry and chewy consequences that no one desires.

In summary, New Mexico Chicken with Rice is an excellent make-ahead option that is easy to store and even easier to reheat. Follow these tips and tricks carefully if you want perfectly warm chicken and fluffy rice every time!

Tips for Perfect Results

Whenever I’m cooking a recipe, I always like to look for tips that can help me achieve the best possible result. This is also true for this New Mexico Chicken with Rice (Arroz con Pollo) recipe. Here are some of my favorite tips that will ensure that you get that perfect taste and texture every time you make it.

1. Use Saffron

For the most authentic taste, I recommend using saffron in the recipe. It gives a fantastic aroma and flavor to the overall dish. However, it can be expensive, so if you don’t want to use it, you can replace it with turmeric for a similar taste.

2. Cut the Chicken Into Bite-Sized Pieces

Cutting up your chicken into bite-sized pieces is an easy way to ensure that they cook evenly and quickly. Plus, smaller pieces tend to absorb more of the seasoning and flavoring.

3. Don’t Overcook the Rice

Rice cooked for this recipe should be just tender and not mushy or overcooked. To achieve this, use a long grain white rice and keep an eye on it while cooking so that it doesn’t turn out sticky.

4. Let the Dish Rest Before Serving

Allowing your chicken and rice to rest for about 10-15 minutes before serving allows them to soak up even more flavor and ensures that they’re perfectly cooked throughout.

5. Use Fresh Ingredients

Using fresh tomatoes, garlic cloves, onion, parsley flakes, and other ingredients can make a huge difference in the overall flavor of the dish.

6. Don’t Skip on Seasonings

Seasonings like chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, red chili powder add depth and richness of flavor in Mexican-style dishes like arroz con pollo. Make sure you’re using enough seasonings to give your dish a full-bodied flavor profile but not too much so as not to overpower other flavors.

7. Adjust the Spice Level to Your Liking

If you prefer a spicier dish, feel free to add more red chili powder or chili powder. Be careful, though! A little too much can quickly turn up the heat and make the dish unpalatable.

By following these tips, you can create a delicious and flavorful chicken rice dish that will be sure to impress your family and friends.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this New Mexico Chicken with Rice dish is a must-try for anyone who wants to experience the unique and flavorful blend of Mexican and American cuisine. It’s not only delicious but also easy to make with readily available ingredients.

With its vibrant colors, enticing aromas and satisfying taste, this dish is sure to impress your family or guests. You can even customize it based on your preferences by using chicken breast instead of thighs or adding cheese sauce for that extra burst of flavor.

So don’t hesitate to give this recipe a try! Share it with your loved ones and enjoy the mouth-watering taste of Arroz con Pollo. As they say in Latin America, Buen Provecho! (Enjoy your meal!)

New Mexico Chicken With Rice (Arroz Con Pollo)

New Mexico Chicken With Rice (Arroz Con Pollo) Recipe

I found this recipe many years ago in a cookbook about New Mexican cooking. It is a family favorite especially my DH.As you can see you can use your own imagination when it comes to additions...
No ratings yet
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine New Mexican
Calories 877.4 kcal


  • 1/2 cup cooking oil or 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 onion, chopped (preferably red)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine red chili powder or 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron (can substitute turmeric)
  • 12 olives (optional)
  • 1 (3 lb) chicken (cut up)

Additions if desired My Ideas

  • parsley flakes, to taste
  • 1 -2 garlic clove, diced fine
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • paprika, to taste
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped tomatoes


  • Cover bottom of heavy skillet with oil, and dump in uncooked rice.
  • Heat slowly.
  • Stir vigorously as rice pops and takes on a whitish color.
  • When rice has popped, add onion and continue stirring.
  • Take out rice and onion or push to cool side of skillet.
  • Add chicken, brown on all sides.
  • Put back rice and onion and cover chicken with water.
  • Simmer under lid till nearly done.
  • Take out a tablespoon of broth and allow to cool.
  • Dissolve the chili and the saffron in broth and stir into main dish slowly.
  • Cut the olives in half and stir them into rice.
  • Cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Check rice if it seems too dry, add a little more water and stir.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 469gCalories: 877.4kcalCarbohydrates: 42.4gProtein: 42.2gFat: 58.8gSaturated Fat: 12.6gCholesterol: 155.2mgSodium: 150.3mgFiber: 1.3gSugar: 1.5g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Easy, Long-Grain Rice, One-Dish Meal, Rice, Southwestern
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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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.