Thursday, August 22, 2013


Hello my amazing friends. Today I'm so excited to introduce a little piece of my beautiful Colombian culture. I will be sharing with you one of my favorite dishes called Arroz con Pollo (Chicken & Rice). This is one of those dishes that is special to me in so many different ways. It reminds me of many family gatherings and brings back beautiful childhood memories. Living in AZ and in a different country makes me crave all of the different dishes I grew up eating. I'm sure many of you who live far away from your home country sometimes feel the same way. There is something about food that helps us stay closer to our culture and roots. That is the reason why I'm so passionate about cooking. It inspires me to experiment and recreate those dishes that I love.  Unfortunately my family never shares recipes. So it makes the job even harder for this girl! 

This is such a unique and delicious dish that if you ever ask me what Arroz con Pollo (Chicken & Rice) tastes like, my answer will be, you will have to try and experience it yourself. This dish has a little of everything, rice, chicken, veggies and a special sauce that makes it just divine! This dish is not only super easy to make, but is nutritious, affordable and can feed an entire army! I have the feeling that this dish will become your new family favorite. Trust me, once you make it and your family tastes it, you are hooked for life! There are many versions of this scrumptious dish throughout South America, but this specific recipe is the one that I grew up eating in all of my family gatherings and special events in Colombia

For those of you who know me and read my blog on regular basis, you already know that I love telling stories. Yes, I'm the kind of gal that can talk all night and never run out of things to say. So I do have a cute story about this dish and this is one of the reasons why it's so dear to my heart.  My husband grew up here in the United States and when he was younger he served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints  in Panama. As many of you know, Panama used to be part of Colombia back in 1821. So they kept a lot of our Colombian traditions and culture. During my husband's mission he ate this dish so much that it became his favorite. When we meet, he never imagined that his future wife was Colombian and that my parents loved making this dish. On our second date and after knowing a little more about him and his past, I decided to invite him over for dinner at my parents house, whom I was living with them at the time. My mom liked Adam so much that said to me, "Paola, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach and I'm going to make him the best Arroz con Pollo that he ever had, and you are going to tell him that you made it!" Oh no, I never thought that our second date was going to make my husband realize that, "I was the woman of his dreams"and close the deal! He was convinced after that night that I was the one and two months after he proposed. Yep that dish was sure the way to my amazing hubby's heart. What I was not expecting was that I would be asked to make it one day! I get myself in a lot of trouble sometimes. (Ooops). So I had to learn how to make this one very good for him. I'm glad that this dish is so special to both of us and most important every time my husband eats it, it reminds him of his mission and brings back to him very special memories. 

To conclude, since I live in Arizona and many of the ingredients that are used in Colombia are not sold in grocery stores here in Phoenix, I had to replace some of the products. The good news is, that it still tastes the same and it is still delicious!


10-12 Servings


1 Whole rotisserie chicken, shredded 


6 cups water 3 cups long grained white rice (prefer Jasmine long grained white rice)
1  tbsp olive oil 
1  cube chicken flavor bouillon 
½ tsp Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp salt
½ cup cilantro, chopped


2 tbsp olive oil
1  cup carrots, chopped 
1 cup peas
1  red bell pepper, chopped
1  green bell pepper, chopped
1  yellow onion, chopped
1  cup Spanish olives (stuffed with minced pimientos and sliced)
½ tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 tsp salt


1  15 oz can tomato sauce
1  cup of ketchup
½  tsp ground cumin
½  tsp all purpose seasoning
1/4 tsp salt


  • Before you start preparing this scrumptious dish shred your roasted chicken and set it aside to use later. This will save you a lot of time.
  •  If you couldn't buy a roasted chicken, cook 3 boneless chicken breasts in water for 40 minutes. Once cooked, drain the water and shred them once the chicken cools down. 
  • Boil 6 cups of water in a medium-large pot at medium heat. 
  • Once the water is boiling add the olive oil, chicken flavored bouillon, turmeric powder, salt, cilantro, rice and stir well.  
  • Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 20 minutes covered. 
  • Once cooked, mix the rice, cover, and set it  aside.

Vegetables Step 1
  • Boil water in a medium pot at medium heat. Once the water is boiling add the carrots and cook for about 3 minutes. 
  • Then add the peas and cook for 5 more minuted. 
  • Once cooked, drain and mix with the rice. Cover the rice and set aside.

  • Warm the tomato sauce in a small pot at medium heat, add ketchup, ground cumin, all purpose seasoning, salt and stir well.
  • Add the shredded chicken and coat the chicken with the sauce all the way. Set aside for later use.  

Vegetables Step 2
  • Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pot at medium heat and add the onions, cook for 2 minutes. 
  • Once the onions are soft, add the garlic, green and red bell peppers and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add salt, olives and cook all the vegetables for an additional 4 minutes until they're all softened.
  • Add the chicken coated in the sauce and cook for another 2 minutes or until the chicken is heated thoroughly.

Final Step: Time to assemble your Arroz con Pollo! 
  • Mix all of the ingredients together and Tada!!! You are done! 

That was so easy ! Now go ahead and take a bit! 

I hope you guys enjoyed preparing this recipe. Now you can officially say that you have cooked a scrumptious Colombian dish! There are so many different ways to assemble your rice. This is my favorite way to decorate my dish. It is so simple. If you would like me to show you, just write a comment. I will add a video or some pictures to make it easier for you to follow.

I cant wait to hear your thoughts about it.  If you decide to make it, please let me know how it turned out. I would love to see some pictures of you taking that first bite. So go ahead, have fun, email them to me or you can become my friend on Facebook and share your pictures there too.



  1. This looks so tasty my friend! I wish I would have accepted your offer to bringing us all over dinner on Monday. I guess we all missed out for sure!!!!!

    1. Yes you did my friend, you missed out big time! Lol, you will have to learn the hard way! I made enough for 12 people so we ended up eating Arroz con Pollo for 2 days straight! Yum!

  2. This looks fantastic! I can't wait to try it!
    I was going to suggest that for those who boil the chicken breasts instead of throwing the water out that you boil it in, you could use that flavored water as part of the cooking liquid to cook the rice in. It will help add just another tiny bit of real chicken flavor. Just a thought...

  3. Thanks Paola! I grew up in New York, and our ward growing up had pot luck dinners often, and someone always brought Arroz con Pollo, cant wait to try this recipe for my family

  4. This looks so good! I'm going to have to try it!